Twenty-nine Indian cities and towns, including Delhi and capitals of nine states, fall in “severe” to “very severe” seismic zones, according to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS). A majority of these places are in the Himalayas, one of the most seismically active regions in the world. Delhi, Patna (Bihar), Srinagar (J&K), Kohima (Nagaland), Puducherry, Guwahati (Assam), Gangtok (Sikkim), Shimla (HP), Dehradun (Uttarakhand), Imphal (Manipur) and Chandigarh fall in seismic zones IV and V. These cities have a combined population of over three crore.The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has classified regions in the country into zones II to V, taking into consideration earthquake records, tectonic activities and damage caused, NCS, Director Vineet Gauhlat, said. Zone II is considered the least seismically active, while Zone V is the most active. Zone IV and V fall under “severe” to “very severe” categories, respectively. Zone V includes the entire northeastern region, parts of J&K, HP, Uttarakhand, the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, parts of north Bihar and the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. Parts of J&K, Delhi, Sikkim, northern UP, West Bengal, Gujarat and a small part of Maharashtra fall in Zone IV. Bhuj, which was struck by a massive earthquake in 2001 in which 20,000 people were killed, Chandigarh, Ambala, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Roorkee fall under zones IV and V.