Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tremor-struck villagers now have wild animals for company


Tremor-struck villagers now have wild animals for company

Indian Express By:Sibte Hussain Bukhari

Junagadh, November 7 A day after the tremors everything seems displaced in the three worst affected villages of Hiranvel, Chitrawad and Haripur in Talala taluka of Junagadh district. About 6,300 villagers have been forced to move out in the open, and what they fear more than the quakes now, are the wild animals. All these villages are located on the periphery of Gir forest where lions and leopards venturing out into the open are a common feature.

"All the houses have developed major cracks. One more jerk, and they'll collapse. We have no other option us but to sleep in the open. We have learnt to cohabit with wild animals, but sleeping in the open is fraught with danger," said Imtiyaz Majgul, a Sidi tribal man and a resident of Chitrawad village.

When contacted, District Collector Ashwini Kumar said, "There is no need to panic. The administration is monitoring the situation and has taken adequate action."

"Out of all the villages, Hiranvel is the worst affected with over a dozen houses damaged beyond repair. Fifty other houses have suffered major damages. All the 65 families here have been provided with individual tents, while in Chitrawad and Haripur villages, peoples have been provided temporary shelter in groups."

When contacted, Talala taluka Mamalatdar Amee Doshi said, "Out of the 950 people in Hiranvel village, 250 have taken shelter in tents provided by the administration, while others have moved over to their relatives in nearby villages," she said.

According to Talala taluka Development Official R J Vyas, a damage survey has been initiated in the affected villages for which 10 teams have been pressed into service since morning. The primary report is expected within the next two days."

"According to our primary survey, about 210 houses have suffered major to minor damages in the five villages. Sixty houses in Hiranvel, 50 in Haripur, 60 in Chitrawad, 25 in Sangodra, and 15 in Bhalchhel village have developed cracks after Tuesday's tremors," Vyas said.

Since Tuesday morning, more then 130 aftershocks have been reported from Talala taluka.

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