Thursday, November 8, 2007

Junagadh quake: GSDMA swings into relief action

Express news service
Posted online: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 12:00:00
Updated: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 at 02:37:44Print Email To Editor

Gandhinagar, November 6 THE Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) supported by the Institute of Seismological Research (ISR) has swung into action following reports of the earthquake measuring 5.0 on Richter scale that rocked some villages in Junagadh district on Tuesday, claiming the life of an old woman, causing injuries to four persons and damages to several houses in the area.
In a swift response to the quake, the GSDMA has rushed relief teams to the affected villages where temporary shelters are being set up for the quake victims. The Hiranvel village in Talala taluka is reported to be the worst-hit, where about 50 houses have collapsed, causing the death of a 78-year-old woman due to the head injury and minor injuries to four other persons in the village.

GSDMA CEO Rajesh Kishore told this newspaper here this evening that the Forest Department’s buildings in Sasan, Amrutvel and Chitravad villages located within the Gir lion sanctuary had also developed cracks due to the impact of the earthquake. Teams of the Roads and Building, Heatlh and Revenue Departments are also being rushed to the affected villages to help the local authorities.

Kishore said the epicentre of the quake was recorded at the Khakrawada village in Talala taluka of Junagadh district. The first quake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale was reported at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, and later another measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale at 3.10 p.m. “The lineament or the satellite images showing the linear topographic features of south Saurashtra region is not clear yet, as also there are no fault lines identified still,” he said.

The GSDMA official said the pressure built up the underline rock and soil structure due to rising of ground water table following heavy rains in the region in the last monsoon could be one of the main reasons for the earthquake. During the current year, there was no major tremors reported in this area, barring some low intensity shocks numbering around 20 reported in October last.

When contacted, Director of ISR B K Rastogi said a team of seismologists attached to the Institute was being dispatched to the affected villages to assess the situation arising out of the quake. A network of digital seismo meters is already in place in the entire Saurashtra and Kutch region, with two such devices already installed in Junagadh district. “We are closely monitoring the situation there,” he said, adding that people need not panic due to the quake in this area.


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