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Quake wake up call for Assam

By Ron Duarah
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DIBRUGARH, March 11 � At about 11.30 am (IST), a mega earthquake shook the northeastern areas of Japan, rocking structures and triggering a massive, trans-Pacific tsunami. While Japan has always been prepared for earthquakes, the likelihood of massive damages in the relatively unprepared Assam, in the event of such a catastrophe, can hardly be imagined.

Several doomsday prophets have been warning of a mega quake in Assam and her neighbouring States for several years now. While even the most advanced geological studies have not been able to predict quakes correctly, developed countries lay more emphasis on disaster management.

In Assam, the preparedness is mostly a bureaucratic exercise � that is, kneejerk in nature and forgotten the day after. The following is a list of the major quakes in Assam and her neighbourhood: ( date, place, magnitude)

1819 Jun, Kutch, Gujarat � 8.0; 1869 Jan, near Cachar, Assam � 7.5; 1885 May, Sopor, J&K� 7.0; 1897 June, Shillong Plateau � 8.7; 1905 April, Kangra, HP � 8.0; 1918 July, Srimangal, Assam � 7.6; 1930 Jul, Dhubri, Assam � 7.1; 1934 Jan, Bihar-Nepal border � 8.3; 1941 June, Andaman Islands � 8.1; 1943 Oct, Assam � 7.2; 1950 Aug, Arunachal Pradesh-China Border � 8.5; 1956 July, Anjar, Gujarat � 7.0; 1967 Dec, Koyna, Maharashtra � 6.5; 1975 Jan, Kinnaur, HP � 6.2; 1988 Aug, Manipur-Myanmar border � 6.6; 1988 Aug, Bihar-Nepal border � 6.4; 1991 Oct, Uttarkashi, UP Hills � 6.6; 1993 Sep, Latur-Osmanabad, Maharashtra � 6.3; 1997 May, Jabalpur, MP � 6.0; 1999 Mar, Chamoli Dist, UP � 6.8; 2001 Jan, Bhuj, Gujarat � 7.7; 2004 Dec, Off West Coast Of Sumatra � 9.3 and 2005 Oct, Pakistan � 7.6.

After observing the table above, it can be safely said that Assam and the Northeast are on the brink of the next big one. While nothing can be done to prevent quakes, at least the resultant disaster can be contained and managed. Are we ready?

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Quake wake up call for Assam

DIBRUGARH, March 11 � At about 11.30 am (IST), a mega earthquake shook the northeastern areas of Japan, rocking structures and triggering a massive, trans-Pacific tsunami. While Japan has always been prepared for earthquakes, the likelihood of massive damages in the relatively unprepared Assam, in the event of such a catastrophe, can hardly be imagined.

Several doomsday prophets have been warning of a mega quake in Assam and her neighbouring States for several years now. While even the most advanced geological studies have not been able to predict quakes correctly, developed countries lay more emphasis on disaster management.

In Assam, the preparedness is mostly a bureaucratic exercise � that is, kneejerk in nature and forgotten the day after. The following is a list of the major quakes in Assam and her neighbourhood: ( date, place, magnitude)

1819 Jun, Kutch, Gujarat � 8.0; 1869 Jan, near Cachar, Assam � 7.5; 1885 May, Sopor, J&K� 7.0; 1897 June, Shillong Plateau � 8.7; 1905 April, Kangra, HP � 8.0; 1918 July, Srimangal, Assam � 7.6; 1930 Jul, Dhubri, Assam � 7.1; 1934 Jan, Bihar-Nepal border � 8.3; 1941 June, Andaman Islands � 8.1; 1943 Oct, Assam � 7.2; 1950 Aug, Arunachal Pradesh-China Border � 8.5; 1956 July, Anjar, Gujarat � 7.0; 1967 Dec, Koyna, Maharashtra � 6.5; 1975 Jan, Kinnaur, HP � 6.2; 1988 Aug, Manipur-Myanmar border � 6.6; 1988 Aug, Bihar-Nepal border � 6.4; 1991 Oct, Uttarkashi, UP Hills � 6.6; 1993 Sep, Latur-Osmanabad, Maharashtra � 6.3; 1997 May, Jabalpur, MP � 6.0; 1999 Mar, Chamoli Dist, UP � 6.8; 2001 Jan, Bhuj, Gujarat � 7.7; 2004 Dec, Off West Coast Of Sumatra � 9.3 and 2005 Oct, Pakistan � 7.6.

After observing the table above, it can be safely said that Assam and the Northeast are on the brink of the next big one. While nothing can be done to prevent quakes, at least the resultant disaster can be contained and managed. Are we ready?

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