January 5th, 2016
Before dawn, in the early hours of Monday, the relatively remote region of North East India witnessed a disastrous earthquake of a magnitude of 6.7.
The earthquake struck about 29 km west of Imphal, Manipur. Lasting for a minute, the earthquake is estimated to have struck around 4:30 am. So far, the quake has resulted in 11 deaths, and at least another 200 have been left injured.
The brunt of the disaster was faced by the state of Manipur. The epicentre has been located at Tamenglong, Manipur. Shock waves were felt as far as Assam, Tripura, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bengal, even Nepal. The police, army and disaster rescue teams from the National Disaster Response Force arrived early in the morning and rescue operations were soon launched. People have been rescued from underneath the rubble, roads are being cleared and obstructing stones are being removed. The quake struck while most of the city dwellers aware asleep and thus, unable to efficiently evacuate their homes. Buildings and rooftops collapsed inflicting severe injuries. The lack of natural sunlight and preparedness of the people further contributed to the injuries and damage.
PM Modi soon released updates informing he had been in contact with the state chief ministers and the Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, who was in Assam looking over the situation. By morning, the social media was brimming with messages expressing condolence and shock over the disaster. People living in the city have called this one of the worst earthquakes they have witnessed. After the unexpected earthquake, the city has been in a state of panic and despair.
While it is understandable to be in a distressed state of mind following such an unannounced and devastating occurrence, panicking will only aggravate the problem. We have all read about the recent calamitous Chennai floods. With not much support from the outside, the people of Chennai came together in a display of stupendous solidarity. People flung open the doors to their homes to those in need, offered free food and transport. Similarly, people of Manipur who have access to Internet too can take to the social media, whenever and wherever possible to air their troubles.
The following are some measures that can be taken by the public:
- People who have lost their homes, or are injured can inform their neighbours of their condition.
- Private transport teams could be created, with people who are willing to patrol a region and collect anyone stranded.
- Those with vehicles and access to clear routes could offer a mode of transport to the injured to the hospitals.
- Doctors at home could offer immediate first aid to their neighbours. They could also issue instructions to others regarding how to handle injuries.
- People with access to the net could update regarding the conditions of their homes, and either offer assistance, in the case of safer zones or attract help in severely affected ones.
- Those with surplus clothes, food or shelter could publicly offer the same to people affected via social networking sites. Anyone in need of food or shelter could then contact those willing to offer help
- People in need of supplies could inform others of their plight. Others can accordingly offer help.
- Like in Chennai, this is the time to show unity and humanity. Shelter and food should be offered without hesitance.
- At an individual level, it is important to keep oneself hydrated with clean water. -Hygienic clean food, rich in carbohydrates and sugar like bread, rice, fruits can be consumed whenever available.
- Wounds should be kept clean, with water and soap, or antiseptics whenever possible. Also, if available, a clean cloth should be used to cover the wound to avoid infection.
- Finally, the army and rescue teams should be given all the support and cooperation they need.
All instructions issued should be followed adequately.A list of helplines has been released for the needy: RIMS Hospital : 03852414478 JNIMS Hospital: 03852450385 Imphal Hospital: 2411353 Shija Hospital : 2414214, 2414252 Police Control Room : 100, 2220100 Fire Service : 101, 2220101 Ambulance Service : 108
The Logical Indian community stands with the people affected by the earthquake and also hopes that they come out of this calamity as soon as possible.