Editorial – Time to sound Quake alarm


Countries or region lying within the Earthquake prone belt or within the grasp of the ring of fire is seriously under unpredictable catastrophe. Japan had already undertaken a major blow spontaneously killing thousands and still reeling under unimaginable misery. Now the quake has taken its toll in Myanmar killing around 74 people and creating a panic in neighbouring Thailand, Laos.

The disturbance lying beneath is becoming more intimidating and a thing to worry indeed. The situation seems very predictable as all the region or country lies under the same belt of threat and besides the tremor have been occurring in series.

More intimidating is the magnitude of the quake that left a devastating trail. The North Eastern region are very fortunate that we are yet to receive an destructive impact inspite of the fact that we are lying within the same belt with those of the countries who constantly suffered such catastrophe.

With so many unwanted scenes of miseries lying before us, the time is ripe that Manipur dig in to more serious thinking. At the same time, we should be reminded that the series of destruction we are witnessing was as an indication first shook most of the North Eastern region on February 4 with the magnitude of the quake mearuing 6.4 richter scale and depth 88.8 Km.
The entire Imphal valley and some hill areas of the state lying at the southern portion were panic stricken as there were reports of some standing electric polls falling on the ground in hill district. More fortunate is that the tremor last only two minutes.

When compared to 6.8 magnitude tremor in Myanmar which destroyed 225 homes and buildings we are very close to encountering an unimaginable force of devastation.

Leaving aside the other state of the North Eastern region, Manipur could have suffered the same fate as Myanmar. The question of how liable or legal the tall buildings that we are witnessing within Imphal and other part remains very distorted. Most of the buildings that are standing today are old enough and rickety, that it can be leveled to the ground.

For instance let us recall the Singjamei incident that had claimed many lives while a building tried to dismantle some of its portion falling under the provision of eviction. In this case the building if not mistaken was not old enough.

Coming to the series of impact due to earthquake in the Asian countries, even the simple joke of the film 2012 is turning into quite believe it or not situation.

It would be impossible to even think for giving eviction notice to all the existing buildings that does not live up to the mark of the provision/guideline of quake resistance or such. As it is the matter of huge loss of property and also financial involvement for compensating the loss.

But the pre requisite is the precautionary measures like organizing mass awareness campaign through various mediums, standing by with relief or rehabilitation arrangement, training for rescue team. Moreover one of the most vital things is equipping with the latest state of the art technology that can forecast to sound an alarm even to monitor the slightest movement.

It is very encouraging to learn that the Chief Minister have taken the matter very seriously by drawing the attention of the speaker during the just concluded assembly session to revive the so called “Building Bio” a guideline to avoid illegal or unsafe buildings. The serious need of the hour is to bring into existence the guidelines immediately as the saying goes “A stitch in time saves nine.


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