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IIT Roorkee expert team to study Manipur quake

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Jan 7 - A three-member expert team of Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee have arrived earthquake-hit Manipur here on Thursday to study quake impact and check out damaged buildings and structures including the iconic Ima Keithel.

Soon after their arrival, Dr Yogendra Singh, Dr Manish Srikande and Dr BK Maheshwari of Earthquake Engineering department, IIT Roorkee called on Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

Later, the experts� team along with State PWD Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar and officials visited the damage sites in and around the State capital including iconic Ima Keithel. The experts have observed that the damaged portion of the Ima Keithel market could be repaired.

�The building has been badly damaged but it could be repaired�, Prof Yogendra said and added that there is no need to demolish and reconstruct the existing market building. �Nobody can predict an earthquake. It is also not possible to predict on when or where or how strong it will occur at any place�, the Professor said.

Earlier, the PWD based on their survey reports, had declared two (Luxmi Market and New Market) out of three markets in Mother�s Market Complexes and a Ministerial block in the State Secretariat �not safe� after the earthquake damaged sizeable portions of walls and pillars of the buildings.

About 513 buildings and structures were reported damaged across Manipur when a powerful 6.8 magnitude pre-dawn earthquake struck the Northeastern State claiming eight lives besides injuring 96, on Monday, according to preliminary reports of the State Relief and Disaster Management department on Thursday. The visiting team will also assess other areas of the State before their departure on January 11.

The Works Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar said repair or re-construction of Luxmi market and New market would be done based on the report of the expert team.

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