DR. JOSHI EXPRESSES SHOCK AT THE LOSS OF LIFE IN THE QUAKE-HIT GUJARAT
The Minister for Human Resource Development and Science and Technology, Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi has expressed grief at the loss of life and property in the earthquake in Gujarat. In a message, he conveyed his heart-felt sympathies to the bereaved families and wished for the speedy relief to the affected. Describing it as a calamity of massive magnitude, Dr. Joshi said that with combined efforts of all, we shall be able to provide succour to the affected.
The earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter Scale struck at 8.46 A.M. today with epicentre 20 km North East of Bhuj.
The Director General of the India Meteorological Department, Dr. R.R. Kelkar said that the situation is being monitored with great difficulty due to disruption of communication links with the affected areas. A team of officers from the Department is being rushed to the area for an on-the-spot assessment of the damage. He said a number of after-shocks have already been recorded.
This is the second major earthquake in the region since 1956 when it recorded 7.0 on the Richter Scale. A senior seismologist, Dr. A.K. Shukla said that there have been 80 to 85 earthquakes of various intensity recorded since 1956 in the Rann of Kutch which falls under seismic zone-5 category, meaning that it is a highly earthquake prone area. The biggest ever quake recorded was in the region in 1819 which measured 8.0 on the Richter Scale.
Experts say that there is no scientific technique available anywhere in the world to predict earthquake. Only forewarning about after-shocks can be done so as to facilitate relief measures.
PRIME MINISTERS CONDOLENCE MESSAGE FOR THE BEREAVED FAMILIES OF THE GUJARAT QUAKE-HIT VICTIMS
Following is the text of the message of the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the bereaved families of the Gujarat quake-hit victims:
"I am deeply pained and distressed to know about the devastating earthquake that rocked Gujarat this morning, causing the loss of several hundred lives and extensive damage to private and public property. The earthquake has also caused destruction in some other States.
I join all my countrymen in conveying our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and expressing our solidarity with the suffering people in all the earthquake-hit areas. As has been our proud tradition in all such times of natural calamity, it is the duty of one and all to come to the aid of our brethren in Gujarat and other quake-affected areas.
I urge all the concerned agencies of the Central and State Government to begin rescue, relief and rehabilitation operations on a war footing. I also appeal to ordinary citizens, charitable institutions and voluntary organisations to coordinate with government agencies in dealing with this challenge effectively.."
HEALTH MINISTER DESPATCHES TEAM OF DOCTORS TO EARTHQUAKE-HIT GUJARAT
The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. C.P. Thakur held a high-level meeting of officials to take stock of the emergency medical needs caused by the earthquake in Gujarat. He ordered immediate despatch of a ten-member team of doctors, mainly orthopaedicians under the leadership of Dr. Salhan. The team is carrying medicines worth 10 lakh rupees. Dr. Thakur is leading a team of medical experts at 12.30 P.M. tomorrow by a special relief plane accompanied by Union Health Secretary, Shri Javed Choudhary. Red-cross officials have been alerted to meet the emergency blood requirement in the earthquake affected areas.
VICE PRESIDENTS MESSAGE TO THE QUAKE-HIT PEOPLE OF GUJARAT
Following is the text of the message of the Vice President, Shri Krishan Kant to the earthquake victims of Gujarat:
"I am shocked and deeply anguished at the extensive loss of life and property, at several places in Gujarat, by the high-intensity earthquake today.
I send my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved families. I pray for the early and complete recovery of those injured in the quake.
I am sure that the government and the people will spare no efforts to provide relief and succour to those affected by this unexpected calamity which hit us when the nation was celebrating the Republic Day. With our effort, patience and calm we shall surely overcome the impact of this untimely disaster.
SHRI DHINDSA ORDERS RELIEF MATERIAL FOR THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
The Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri S.S. Dhindsa has promptly responded to the call of the Prime Minister after the earthquake today. He has directed the Ministry to gear up for relief. Subsequently, Indian Petro Chemicals Limited has sanctioned Rs. 50 lakh for relief measures. Similarly, the Department of Fertilizers has been asked to arrange 10,000 blankets and 20,000 tarpaulin sheets. In a message to the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Dhindsa has assured him full help and support in this hour of crisis.
3RESOLUTION OF THE UNION CABINET ON GUJARAT EARTHQUAKE
Following is the text of the Union Cabinets resolution adopted on Gujarat earthquake during the Emergency Cabinet meeting held on 26th January, 2001:
"The Cabinet expressed its deep sense of sorrow and grief at the heavy loss of lives and at the magnitude of destruction caused by the earthquake in parts of Gujarat. Members of the Cabinet also observed two minutes of silence.
The request of the State Government for relief assistance has been received and action already taken to rush that assistance. The Cabinet directed that the situation will be constantly monitored by the Crisis Management Group under the Cabinet Secretary and all emergency assistance and action for rescue, relief, medical treatment and restoration of communication will be provided.
Food, medical teams, blankets and tents are being provided on an emergency basis. All necessary measures are being taken to restore power and communications as early as possible. Departments of the Govt. of India, the Armed Forces and the PSUs have been instructed to liaise with State Govt. and spare no efforts to provide immediate assistant to the affected areas."