All we can do is stay prepared: Disaster management cell

Apr 15, 2012, 07:55 IST | Rinkita Gurav

The body's chief says Mumbai was under observation and facilities were on standby in case of an emergency

Saturday witnessed three earthquakes in three hours and two tremors were felt in Mumbai. The BMC, which is the authority in control of disaster management, informed the fire brigade, disaster squads and hospitals. While there is no way of predicting an earthquake, the civic authority says it is prepared to tackle such a situation.

The BMC disaster management cell’s chief officer M Narvekar said, “There was no alert in Mumbai, so we kept all the facilities on standby. We received hourly updates from INCOIS, the government’s nodal agency.” The first earthquake of 4.0 magnitude occurred in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat at 8:53 am and tremors were felt in Mumbai too. The second and third occurred in Satara and near Ratnagiri, Maharastra between 10.57 am and 11.47 am of 4.9 and 4.0 magnitude on the Richter scale respectively.

“There is no way to predict an earthquake. We just have to be prepared,” informed Narvekar. He said the BMC is building a place where citizens can receive training on earthquake management in Lalbaug. A senior official at BMC said, “According to experts, Mumbai cannot have a tsunami as there isn’t any epicentre in the ocean on the western side. Only earthquakes can take place as there are three major active fault lines in Panvel, Koyna and at another spot in Pakistan which is nearly 1,000 kms away.”

He added that if earthquakes occur at these spots, buildings, bridges and flyovers would collapse and landslides would occur. BMC’s standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale said, ‘We are prepared for building collapses during rains and earthquakes. The ward level disaster controls will be activated, and 256 fire engines and 30 ambulances along with private ambulances will be put into action.”

An official from the Indian Metrological Department, Mumbai, said, “We have not received calls from people about the tremors. We don’t know about them.” V K Rajeev, director of IMD said, “I am not sure about it because I wasn’t in office yesterday.” 

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