Monday, 30 November, 2020

Seismic safety - an integral part of national security


Seismic process develops unevenly, cyclical, alternating more active and less active periods.

This cycle depends on many vnutrizemnyh and extraterrestrial (cosmogenic) factors. Revealed that about 1885 to 1925 seismicity in the world characterized by the relative activation, when in all seismic zones of the earth occurred catastrophic earthquake (Italy, 1886, Iran, 1895., Mexico, 1891., China, in 1902, India , in 1905, Chile in 1906, Alaska in 1906, Japan, 1923., and many others.)

During this period in the Northern Tien Shan, where the city of Almaty, there have been about a dozen large earthquakes, two of which (Chilik 1889 Kemin 1911.) On the amount of energy extracted from the chamber, entered the rank of the world's seismic catastrophes. Of note, the amount of energy extracted from the source Kemin earthquake, according to experts, it is about 40 times greater than the energy released from the source of the infamous 1988 Spitak earthquake, which killed about 41 thousand lives and shook the whole world by its consequences.


Starting around 1995 the globe entered the next phase of global seismic activity. This is evidenced by the devastating earthquake in Japan (1995 and 2011), Turkey (1999), Afghanistan (2002), Iran (2003), China (2003 and 2008), Indonesia (2004 and 2009), and others. The process of revitalization of seismic events will continue until about 2025, and, of course, directly affect Kazakhstan.

Thus, the most seismically active in the whole of Central Asia is the Trans-Ili Alatau area, where the city of Almaty.

Everyone needs to remember that we live in an earthquake-prone regions. The basic rule - to be prepared for it. The analysis shows that the vast majority of people who received mental and physical injuries in the earthquake, they had no idea about it, as well as measures of collective and individual protection, were not mentally prepared for groundwater impacts. Therefore, a basic knowledge of earthquakes, a constant readiness and learning skills of behavior in an emergency situation to help you stay calm, avoid nervous disorders and to reduce injuries during earthquakes.

Institute of Seismology of the population was a memo on how to behave in earthquakes, a detailed itemized activities and actions of people in different situations - before the earthquake, with the threat of earthquakes in the earthquake.

In general, to power structures, the media focus on the problem of preparing for earthquakes, starting with kindergarten. A striking example is the experience of Japan, where the moral and psychological training is conducted in all educational institutions, organizations and enterprises.

Of note, in Kazakhstan mass television, but there is no educational transfer on seismic protection. Urgent need to start educational television programs.

The results of analysis of the effects of devastating earthquakes show that early and complex organizational and engineering activities, as well as good leadership by people with the threat of earthquakes and mitigate its consequences greatly reduce loss of life and material damage.

It should be noted that even many business leaders, organizations and institutions located in earthquake-prone regions of Kazakhstan, often simply ignore seismic protection measures under their facilities. We have developed "Recommendations heads of enterprises, organizations and institutions located in seismic regions, to make decisions in the event of a major earthquake," where painted steps of the said decision makers (see website:

In the world there are different opinions on the subject of earthquake prediction: the optimistic to the extreme opposite. However, seismologists believe in the possibility of predicting earthquakes. For this to be a high level of scientific and technological potential and optimal network of seismological observations in the controlled area.

According developed at the Institute of Seismology of the genetic classification of earthquakes in the forecast are three stages: the long-term (5 to 7 years), medium-term (up to 1 year), short-term (days, hours).

Long-term forecast is based on the established patterns in the processes of the earth's crust. Map of long-term prognosis in the Almaty region allocated within 3 areas where the probability of occurrence of large earthquakes in the next 5-7 years is very high. One of them is located southwest of the city of Almaty, where in 1911, there was a certain Kemin earthquake. The second, "promising" area highlighted in the south-eastern part of the Trans-Ili Alatau mountain range. Spatially, it tends to be the epicenter of the earthquake zone Chilic (1889). The third zone tends to Dzungaria.

Interdepartmental committee on earthquake prediction under the MES RK - it includes representatives of the Institute of Seismology and MES RK, and one representative of NPK "forecast", Almatygidrogeologii and the Institute of Geophysical Research, National Nuclear Center. I am chairman of the committee. In the beginning, we - members of the committee - to discuss medium-term outlook, which is made for one year. Our solutions are for guidance only and are sent to the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kazakhstan and other regulatory bodies.

Due to the fact that a representative network of observations for quality mid-and short-term forecast is created only for the territory of Almaty earthquake-prone regions in the beginning of each year, the Interagency Commission on earthquake prediction under the MES RK says medium-term outlook for the current year only in this region. The medium-term earthquake prediction, probabilistic and bearing formally transferred to the government bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan in recent years, including in 2011, was justified.

It has now become clear that short-term prediction of earthquakes - a very complex, multifaceted and serious problem of modern science. In this aspect, the issue of short-term forecast is more research than practical. The absence of universal precursors, as well as the extreme volatility of anomalies prior to earthquakes, determined the need for an integrated approach to its solution.

Certainly, on the issue of short-term earthquake prediction to work, but there are other equally important fundamental and applied scientific problems in seismology and earthquake engineering, the solution of which will provide for the seismic safety of the country, including the territory of Almaty.

Last decades are characterized by unprecedented human intervention in the natural geological environment that provokes the strongest earthquakes, sometimes by force and much higher than the natural consequences. Is evidenced by the huge number of strong and catastrophic earthquakes in developed fields of hydrocarbons, solid minerals.

Along with the exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits provoke earthquakes as the construction and operation of large hydraulic structures. The fact that the alternating pressure change on the geological environment and water penetration through cracks in the rock, acts as a lubricant on to the line of faults, create the conditions for the occurrence of large earthquakes.

Particular threat to the city of Almaty are Moinakskoye and Kapchagai where not carried geodynamic (seismological) monitoring. It is no accident epicenter occurred May 1, 2011 6-point earthquake was in the zone Kapchagai, and the epicenter 6-point earthquake May 31, 2012 located near Moinak hydro and Bartogai reservoir. However, economic agents do not want to fund these types of important measurements.

Ensuring the safety of people and assets of the economy, especially strategic objects, becomes the most pressing problem, the solution of which is directly linked to the implementation of the "Kazakhstan-2030". Therefore, the protection against seismic disasters laws of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On emergency situations of natural and man-made", "On National Security" equated with national security issues. To solve the problem of seismic safety in the Republic of Kazakhstan proposed:

- The adoption of the law on the seismic safety (Earthquake) of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which includes: the creation of a unified Republican Seismological monitoring of both natural and man-made earthquakes, ensuring the basic principle of the seismic safety of the state, regulation of relations between the state, business and the population in the event of strong earthquakes;

- The creation of the state system of seismic monitoring, including groundwater, surface, space hardware, data centers and regional centers of observation, and the National Seismological Service, covering the whole territory of Kazakhstan (open in Kazakhstan further 52 seismological observation points);

- Organization of seismological monitoring on large reservoirs and hydraulic systems that are in earthquake-prone regions and of strategic importance to the state;

- Organization of the geodynamic (seismic) monitoring of exploited deposits of oil and gas and mining and metallurgical complex;

- The creation of scientific-methodological and regulatory framework for the design and construction (specifications, recommendations and seismic zoning maps of varying detail, including maps of seismic zoning of the Republic of Kazakhstan and seismic zoning map the territory of Almaty);

- To evaluate and develop recommendations to reduce seismic risk and ensure the safety and reliability of seismic facilities in major population centers, industrial agglomerations and strategically important sites.


Tanatkan Abakan, director of "The Institute of Seismology", Doctor of Technical Sciences, Academician, Chairman of the Commission on earthquake prediction in the MES RK, UNESCO expert on earthquakes