Sikkim is located in the high risk seismic zone IV of the Indian seismic zoning map. The state is spread out on the Himalayan mountain range with two main thrust faults, the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Main Central Thrust (MCT) crossing the state. Continuous thrusting of the Indo-Australian plate against the Eurasian plate has made most parts of the Himalayan collision zone seismically active. Sikkim is a part of this zone; therefore it had been a moderately active seismic region in historical times.  There is a high level of seismic vulnerability in the state, as in most cases the damage seen was clearly disproportionate to the size of the earthquake. Such disproportionate damage is a direct consequence of poor design and construction practices in an inadequate professional environment that is challenged by the lack of trained human resources in the state. 

There is consensus in the scientific world that Sikkim and its adjoining areas will likely witness major earthquakes in the future. This, combined with the poor construction practices prevalent in the area, spells tremendous risk for the population of this region. The only solution to this problem lies in oing for safer constructions through choice of appropriate construction systems, incorporation of earthquake resistant technology, use of good construction materials and their quality control, and involvement of competent manpower for design, construction and supervision. Furthermore, it will require sensitizing common people about the seismic hazard and the very real and tangible seismic risks that the community is facing on account of using unsafe construction practices. Awareness and capacity building of human resources at all levels and the creation of suitable and effective enforcement mechanisms are integral components of the road map for steering the state
towards seismic safety. The task is enormous and must perforce, involve all sections of society - the Government, NGOs, professionals, industries, and the common man. Clearly, the time to act is now. 

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