`Moderate quake may prove devastating' By Roy Mathew
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, FEB. 27. Studies by the Centre for Earth Science Studies
(CESS) say that Kochi city, Alappuzha town and Mullaperiyar dam face the
danger of devastation in case of an earthquake of moderate intensity
occurring close to them.
The study says that Kochi and Alappuzha are sitting on 400-metre-deep
alluvial soil formations. This would have highly destabilising effect on
buildings in the case of an earthquake.
The Director of CESS, M. Baba, says the soil beneath the buildings would get
fluidised under the force of even a moderate earthquake. Hardly any building
in the city and the town is built to withstand earthquakes. The geology of
no other city or town in the State presents such a danger as they stand on
better underground formations.
The CESS is preparing site response data indicating the intensity of ground
shaking anticipated in an earthquake in Kochi and its impact.It has surmised
from the study of past earthquakes that there is possibility of earthquakes
of the magnitude of up to 6 on the Richter scale occurring in the State.
The Mullaperiyar dam will not withstand such an earthquake with epicentre
near the dam. The chances of an earthquake occurring in the vicinity of the
dam are high owing to the presence of major lineaments and fault zones in
The expert committee, constituted by the Government with Dr. Baba as
coordinator to look into the stability of the dam against earthquakes, said
the dam would not be safe in the case of an earthquake near its vicinity. If
a Koyna type earthquake occurs in the vicinity of the dam, the structure is
unlikely to withstand it. Even under pure static conditions at a maximum
water level of 136 feet, some elements of the model exhibit tensile
stresses. Increase of water level will lead to further increase in tensile
stresses at the base.
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Narayanan criticises Vajpayee for Gujarat riots
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 2. Breaking his silence over two years after
stepping down from office, the former President, K.R. Narayanan, has
criticised the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for his handling
of the post-Godhra situation. He also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of
preventing him from a second term in office.
"He [Mr. Vajapyee] did not do anything effective. I had sent him letters. I
had talked to him directly," Mr. Narayanan said in a freewheeling interview
to the Congress MLA, P.T. Thomas, carried in a recent issue of the Malayalam
magazine, Manava Samskriti.
Claiming that there was a conspiracy involving the State and Central
Governments behind the 2002 Gujarat riots, he said: "Had military been given
powers to shoot, the carnage in Gujarat could have been avoided to a great
"I had asked the military to be sent to suppress the riots. The Centre had
the constitutional responsibility and powers to send the military if the
State Governments asked. The military was sent. But if the military was
given powers to shoot at the perpetrators of violence, recurrence of
tragedies in Gujarat could have been avoided. However, both the state and
central government did not do so," Mr. Narayanan said.
A portable web server
A web server helps you host web pages and lets you share files with others.
If the web server is a portable one, which can be housed on a floppy or
flash drive, you can have a mobile web site and share your resources from
any machine, anytime.
The portable web server, MyWeb (http://www.xuebrothers. net/myweb/myweb.htm)
is a good example of a product of this kind. The program allows you to host
a web site within a couple of minutes. It can also be used to share files
from your desktop.
After downloading the software, load it by just clicking on the file and
configure it using the option `Server Property.' Now, if you want to share a
file with others, right-click on the option `Dynamic files' and enter the
path of the file to be shared. Also, if you keep the program on your flash
drive, you can run the web server from any Windows computer anywhere on the
Apart from the web server software mentioned above, many portable programs
are in place. The browser, PortableFirefox (mentioned in an earlier column)
and the portable version of the e-mail client Thunderbird (http://portable
thunder bird.mozdev.org/) are good examples.
In this regard, you may visit the portal `Portable Freeware Collection'
(http://www.portablefreeware.com/) that provides a wide array of free
portable programs. Here, you will find many portable programs stored under
different categories that include Audio, Education, Internet, Operating
system and Programming.
The small browser, OffByOne (http://www.offbyone.com/), is a good software
discovered by this author with the help of this portal. The portal also
features a `news feed' for helping you keep abreast with latest products
easily with your news aggregator.
On-line to-do list service
Noting down the list of things to do in our family, business and
professional life will certainly help us make life less troublesome. Also,
if we keep these lists on-line, we can look at them anytime from anywhere.
For such requirements, take a look at the free on-line `to-do' list creation
service, `Ta-da List' (http://tadalist.com/). The service allows you to
create any number of to-do lists and hosts them on its server. It provides
you a hostname of the form http:// your-login-name. tadalist.com, for
accessing your lists from the Web. These days no on-line service, which has
changing data, comes without a news feed and `Ta-da' list is also no
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