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Day after quake, fear in Jammu and Kashmir

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Jammu/Srinagar: Communication networks were restored in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, a day after a major earthquake struck the state and claimed at least three lives. Fear of aftershocks still lurked in the state, officials said.

“A 16-year-old boy was killed and his father was injured when the two fell several feet down on the steep hillside in Reasi district because of the earthquake,” a senior state government officer told IANS in Jammu city on Tuesday.

Two women, one in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district and the other in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, died due to heart failure. They were shocked by the strong quake that rocked the Kashmir Valley, the official added.

All communications including mobile telephone services, broadband and mobile Internet services were snapped immediately after the earthquake that measured 7.5 on the Richter scale.

Hundreds of people were stranded on roads, inside vehicles and other places, and created panic in Srinagar city.

Hundreds of government and private buildings, including offices, schools, residential buildings and shopping complexes in Jammu and Srinagar cities, have developed cracks.

A senior civil engineer said the exact extent of damage to such structures cannot be immediately assessed.

“The cracks appearing in such structures could be superficial, which means affecting the outer plaster layer only or deep down affecting the superstructure proper,” the engineer said.

What has been worrying the locals in Jammu region and the Kashmir Valley is the probability of aftershocks.

“Structures rattled by earthquake are always unsafe because aftershocks can raze them,” an expert said.

Srinagar city’s only fly-over also developed cracks and traffic on it was disallowed for several hours. It resumed after engineers inspected the damage.

A multi-storeyed block of an official building adjacent to the fly-over, housing headquarters of the state crime branch and some other offices, also developed cracks.

The building was inaugurated only a year back by the then chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who was presiding over a cultural function in Tagore Hall in Srinagar, was escorted to safety by his Special Security Group (SSG) guards while other dignitaries and senior officials ran out of the jampacked hall, ignoring that they were leaving the chief minister behind.

There was chaos inside the civil secretariat, the seat of governance in the state.

A senior bureaucrat – otherwise known for his cool administrative behaviour – was seen struggling to gather his breath as he ran down several floors of the multi-storeyed secretariat building, not even glancing back till he reached the main gate.

All official functions and meetings scheduled in the afternoon in Jammu and Srinagar cities and other district headquarters were canceled without any official word on their rescheduling.

According to the seismologists, the valley is situated in seismic zone 5 which makes it highly to vulnerable earthquakes.

(IANS)

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Earthquake Then Volcano, There is No Relief For the Hawaii Residents

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

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Scientists have been in the field measuring the eruptions 24 hours a day, seven days a week since Kilauea first exploded more than two months ago.
Scientists have been in the field measuring the eruptions 24 hours a day, seven days a week since Kilauea first exploded more than two months ago. Pixabay

A massive quake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale jolted Hawaii residents were evacuating from their homes following a volcanic eruption that has not showed any signs of slowing down, authorities said.

The temblor that struck 16 km southwest of Leilani Estates at 12.32 p.m., on Friday, was one of more than 110 earthquakes that hit the island since the Kilauea volcano, one of the world’s most active, erupted on Wednesday, reports CNN.

US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Jana Pursley said there have been 119 earthquakes on the Big Island since Thursday afternoon.

The USGS said Friday’s 6.9 quake was the most powerful on the island since 1975.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.

About 14,000 customers of Hawaii Electric Light lost power immediately after the earthquake.
Earthquake in Hawaii, IANS

The quake has knocked out power to residents who were already dealing with mandatory evacuation orders, molten rock and high levels of sulphur dioxide in the air.

The situation wasn’t getting any better, Civil Defence Administrator Talmadge Magno told reporters on Friday afternoon.

“Activity continues. It doesn’t look like it is slowing down,” CNN quoted Magno as saying.

He said five volcanic vents have opened and indicated that at least one house and another structure were destroyed by lava.

It is highly unusual to see the vents so far from Kilauea volcano, he said.

Hundreds of people have evacuated from Leilani Estates, a community of about 1,700 people, and Lanipuna Gardens.

Harry Kim, Mayor of Hawaii County, said the government will support residents, including those who want to go back to their homes to pick up some belongings.

“We have to work with them as to how we are going to minimise (the inconveniences) as best as possible,” he said.

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Kim said people who want to check on their homes would be allowed into the neighbourhoods.

Cracks in Kilauea volcano’s rift zone — an area of fissures miles away from the summit — erupted on Thursday and early Friday, spurting lava near the island’s eastern edge.

Video posted on social media showed lava spewing several feet into the air from a new crack in a Leilani Estates street.

Aerial videos showed lava searing a long orange and smoky line through a wooded area.

Hawaii Governor David Ige has activated the National Guard to help with evacuations and security. (IANS)