Earthquake takes toll in India; Rescue and Relief on

RSTV Bureau

Earthquake6So far 34 people have been killed in North India in the massive earthquake which caused large scale destruction in Nepal. With an epicenter at Lamjung in Nepal, the impact of 7.9-magnitude quake was felt in several cities of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and other eastern states.

According to the latest reports, 14 more tremors were felt at the magnitude of 5 and above Richter scale in the last five hours.

23 people were killed in Bihar, 8 in Uttar Pradesh and 3 in West Bengal according to the information gathered so far. According to the local administration, hundred other were left injured as the devastating quake left its imprint in India. Scores of people were left injured as roofs and walls of several buildings collapsed in the afternoon. The local authorities have claimed that many people were rescued as well.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also convened a high level meeting with Ministers & top officials at 3:00 pm to take stock of the situation after loss of lives and property was reported from various places.

The meeting was attended by Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, the NSA Ajit Doval, Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra, the Additional Principal Secretary P.K. Mishra, and senior officials from the Government, IMD, and NDRF.

Assuring of all possible help, the Prime Minister spoke to the President and Prime Minister of Nepal, and the Chief Ministers of the States of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh. He was briefed on the inputs regarding the extent of damage to life and property received so far from various places in India and Nepal.

Relief and rescue teams, including medical teams, were immediately dispatched to the affected areas in India and Nepal as well. 10 teams are dispatched to Nepal, where the first set of NDRF teams is expected to reach Kathmandu today itself.

The PMO has spoken to the Indian Embassy in Bhutan. Embassy is in touch with top Bhutan officials as well.

Taking account of the situation, four NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams have been sent to Bihar for carrying out rescue and relief work, while one has been sent to Uttar Pradesh.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who was in Delhi has rushed back to Patna. He spoke to Bihar Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, state police chief P K Thakur and directed them to alert people particularly of areas bordering Nepal.

In Kolkata, one person died in a wall collapse and at least 66 others, including 40 school children, were injured while several buildings developed cracks.

At least 66 people were injured in three places of Malda district as portions of the roof collapsed in two school buildings and a bank, the police said. Thirty students were injured at BSB High School at Bhado when the roof collapsed following the quake.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that state government is monitoring the situation closely and urged people to stay calm. “My prayers are with the people of Nepal and across India after the massive earthquake. Hope everyone is safe. Stay calm,” she tweeted.