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42 missing after Maharashtra bridge tragedy, judicial probe ordered

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Meanwhile, bowing to opposition demands, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced a judicial probe into the tragedy even as 13 bodies were recovered during the day, some washed out as far as 100 km in the Arabian Sea.

Raigad Deputy Collector Satish Vagal told media persons on Thursday evening that according to details compiled from various quarters, the two Maharashtra State Transport Corporation buses had more passengers than earlier estimates, besides reports of other people missing in various private vehicles.

While the Rajapur-Borivali service had 14 passengers, including some staffers, the Jaigad-Mumbai service had 12 persons, totalling 26.

Besides, a private Tavera vehicle with eight persons has also been reported missing, from which the bodies of two female victims were recovered this morning.

They have been identified as Sevanti Mirgal, whose body was found near Harihareshwar Beach and Ranjana Vaze’s body was recovered from Kemburli coastal village, nearly 80 kms downstream in the sea, besides driver S.S. Kamble’s body which was recovered from Anjarle beach.

Additionally, Vagal said the district authorities have received anxious calls about a Honda City with four persons missing, and another four persons travelling in a three-wheeler still untraceable, totalling to 42.

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to next of kin of each victim, and a compensation of like amount or employment for the families of the staffers who have lost their lives in the tragedy.

Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil and other leader demanded a judicial probe into the tragedy and also said the scope of the search operations should be widened since the bodies have been scattered over a large geographical area comprising the Savitri River, the Ambet Creek, Arabian Sea and tiny villages dotting the Konkan coast in the district.

“A judicial inquiry will be held into the tragedy,” Fadnavis said after a discussion on the issue in the assembly.

He said a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay has already been sent to the site and the government has ordered a structural safety audit of all old bridges on the Mumbai-Goa Highway.

 

IANS

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Earthquake hits Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region

Earthquake in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli: The earthquake hit the region at around 7.44 PM on Tuesday.

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An earthquake of magnitude 4.6 struck Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli region on Tuesday. The earthquake hit the region at around 7.44 PM on Tuesday. No casualties or loss of property has been reported so far.

(This is a breaking news story; more details awaited)

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Earthquake to hit NCR creates fear among people

The scientists reached the conclusion of a devastating earthquake hitting Uttarakhand based on a study conducted in 2017.

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The news of an earthquake measuring more than eight on the Richter Scale may strike Delhi-NCR with Gurugram as its epicentre between April 7 and 15 has been viral on the internet.

Another prediction of a devastating quake to hit Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Nepal is also circulating which has instilled fear and panic among the people of the states.

The argument put forward by Piyush Rautela, Executive Director of Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre (DMMC) is “Frequent mild earthquakes in the hills of Uttarakhand should not be dismissed as common occurrences but treated as pointers to a major earthquake which is long overdue in the central seismic gap of the Himalayan front spanning Himachal Pradesh, Nepal and Uttarakhand.”

Rautela said the damage will be more in the thickly populated urban areas where there has been a rapid and unplanned growth of population and infrastructure.”

A message has been circulating of a warning that an earthquake measuring 9.1 on Richter scale would strike Delhi-NCR between April 7 and April 15 attributing the information to American space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration. But it is a hoax as scientists are yet to find ways to predict earthquakes.

Seismologists, however, are of the view that no proven method exists for predicting earthquakes with any accuracy and the best way to save lives from Earth’s wrath is to beef up construction standards and educate people about seismic risk.

The scientists reached the conclusion of a devastating earthquake hitting Uttarakhand based on a study conducted in 2017.

The surface of the earth sits on several gigantic tectonic plates that move by a few centimeters known as faults that develop each year. Most devastating earthquakes had occurred in the Indian sub-continent. In fact, geographical statistics show that at least 54 percent of India’s land is vulnerable to earthquakes and India has four seismic zones, I, II, III, IV and VII being the lowest and V being the highest.

But for sure preparedness remains the best defense against devastating earthquakes.There must be an investment in preparedness such as early warning systems, tsunami systems, relocation of people from locations deemed to be vulnerable to disasters.

Five districts in Uttarakhand having population approximately 3-3.5 million on the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Tibet borders come in seismic zone V.

A State-wide mega mock disaster management drill was conducted by the Gurgaon district administration in December 2017. The governments of Delhi and NCR region should play a proactive role by checking the authenticity of the prediction by the National mitigation Disaster Management institution and engaging themselves to participate in the mitigation of natural disasters.

The central government should also discourage the construction of a skyscraper on the lines of Japan which also falls in the seismic zone.

 

By Arti Bali

Sr Journalist

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6.8-magnitude quake hits Bolivia: USGS

Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) boffins issued a warning and forecast hazardous waves from the coast.

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A HUGE 6.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Bolivia in the Ring of Fire. It occurred near Tarija in the south of the country at a depth of 344 miles. The USGS estimates there is a 34% chance of damage and fatalities.

Its website states: “Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are resistant to earthquake shaking, though vulnerable structures exist.

“The predominant vulnerable building types are adobe block and rubble/field stone masonry construction.”

The South American country is located in the Ring of Fire, a basin of the Pacific Ocean prone to seismic activity.

It occurred 96 miles from the town of Kokopowhich, home to about 20,000 people.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) boffins issued a warning and forecast hazardous waves from the coast.

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