Learning from Malin, district admin to begin disaster awareness drive

The administration’s announcement follows a mid-day report on how a simple disaster awareness campaign could have helped Malin residents see the landslide coming

Two days after mid-day carried a report on how the tragic loss of lives at Malin could have been avoided with a simple awareness campaign (Malin tragedy could have been avoided by the district administration: GSI, August 5), District Collector Saurabh Rao confirmed that villagers would soon be taught to identify signs of impending natural disasters.

Malin landslide
Mass cremations were held for the 151 who died in the Malin landslide, a disaster GSI officials have said could have been avoided; District Collector Sauabh Rao announced yesterday that the administration would soon begin rehabilitation for survivors, as well as organise disaster awareness camps to prevent future tragedies. File pic

A week after a landslide hit Malin on July 30 and crushed 48 houses in the village, Geological Survey of India (GSI) officials revealed that there had been signs of an approaching disaster before the landslide had struck. They had discovered cracks in the walls of two buildings in the village, indicating ground movement in the region. The officials said that if the villagers had been trained to keep an eye out for such signs, they could have reported it to the local authorities, saving the 151 lives that were claimed by the incident.

District Collector Sauabh Rao
District Collector Sauabh Rao

Rao said yesterday, “The district administration will organise awareness camps in various villages in the district to avoid future tragedies like Malin.” Indicating that the process had not yet begun though, Rao added that the administration would only decide to hold the drive after discussing the issue with GSI officials.

On the other hand, Deputy Director General of GSI (Central Region), AK Saha said that no one from the district administration had contacted him about the awareness drive yet. While lamenting the fact that not enough had been done earlier, Saha said, “Better late than never.”

mid-days report on August 5
Mid-day’s report on August 5

Rao added that the administration would soon begin rehabilitation for the 14 families rescued from the disaster site. While the families are currently residing at the local school in Malin, Rao said they would be shifted to nearby villages, where they will be given houses and essential commodities. Apart from all their belongings, the families had also lost all their ration cards, voter identity cards and all other necessary documents, which will also be replaced by the administration, added Rao.

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