NDRF teams deployed as Palghar ‘quakes’ in fear

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NDRF teams deployed as Palghar ‘quakes’ in fear

Palghar (Maharashtra): A couple of NDRF teams rushed here from Pune after a series of earthquakes rattled this tribal district on Friday, killing a minor girl, an official said here on Saturday.

The two 40-strong National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams each have brought emergency supplies like 200 tents, medical supplies and other materials which are now being distributed in some 42 of the worst-hit rural areas, said a senior official from the collectorate, declining to be identified.

On Friday, most people in the district remained on tenterhooks as at least seven mild and severe tremors, measuring up to 4.1 on the Richter Scale, shook their homes, schools, colleges, factories, etc.

On Friday, the first sharp quake was experienced around 7 a.m. forcing people to flee homes or shops and students scampering out of schools and colleges.

According to the officials, in the past three months, Palghar has experienced more than 15 tremors creating panic among the population of around 17 lakh (1.70 million), including nearly 14 lakh in urban centres like Palghar town and Dahanu.

The official said that experts of Indian Meteorological Department, Pune, and the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad, have already visited the region, but they could not predict the causes of the quakes and merely advised “precautionery measures” to the district administration.

The authorities have advised people living in semi-permanent structures (kuttchha homes) to sleep in the open, launched awareness drives on “dos and don’ts” in case of a major earthquake and kept all hospitals on alert for any emergency.

In a strange fallout, a borewell pump which had dried up since several years at the Dhundalwadi Zilla Parishad School, suddenly started spewing fresh water, indicating considerable subterranean geological activity that may have altered the courses of streams or aquifers after the multiple jolts.

Meanwhile, the government has sought a report on the extent of damages in different residential, social or commercial structures in the district while all disaster management authorities are on high preparedness.

A tribal-dominated district and an industrial centre, Palghar is situated around 110 km north of state capital Mumbai with thousands commuting by local trains to Thane and Mumbai daily to earn a living.

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