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Over 1,900 tourists evacuated from Andaman and Nicobar islands

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New Delhi/Port Blair, Dec 9 : Over 1,900 tourists were taken to safety by air and sea from Andaman and Nicobar islands till Friday evening, the Defence Ministry said.

The sudden evacuation was necessitated over fears of a cyclonic storm.

While 1,614 people were taken to safety from Havelock Island, 289 were evacuated from Neil island by Indian Air Force helicopters, Indian Navy, Coast Guard, DSS and private ships, according to a Defence Ministry spokesperson.

Six Indian Navy ships, three Coast Guard vessels and three MI-17 V5 choppers took part in the rescue mission that started on Friday morning despite rain and strong winds.

The army and the Andaman administration also joined the rescue operations.

The six navy ships that took part in the mission are Karmukh, Kumbhir, Bitra, Baratang, LCU 27 and LCU 38.

The three IAF choppers carried out 14 sorties — 11 from Havelock, and three from Neil island.

“Six Indian Navy ships and three Indian Coast Guard ships sailed out at 9.30 a.m. from Port Blair for rescue operations. Three Indian Air Force helicopters are also taking part in IN, ICG, Army, State administration joint operation for evacuation of stranded tourists in the Havelock Island,” the Indian Navy said in a statement.

The sudden evacuation mission was initiated at the request of the Andaman and Nicobar Disaster Management, which speculates that a “cyclonic storm” might strike Havelock, an island about 36 km from capital Port Blair.

The navy on Wednesday made its first attempt to rescue the tourists stranded on Havelock.

However, due to extreme weather conditions, the tourists could not reach the jetty to board the ships.

Four navy ships had to return in a failed rescue attempt, the officials from A&N Disaster Management informed.

“Now the weather conditions have improved. It’s only moderate rain and winds,” an official from A&N Disaster Management told IANS.

The official said the sudden evacuation was called for as they did not want to take any risk given that a deep depression (in the sea) developed about 310 km from Port Blair.

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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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Earthquake

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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Earthquake

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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Disaster

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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Earthquake

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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