Strong quake empties out village in Kalaburagi district

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KEY STORY

  • There was panic at Gadikeshwara village on Monday night when the residents heard a loud explosion and the earth shook violently under their feet within the next few seconds. The men and women ran out of their homes and into the fields in the dark of the night, trying to save themselves.
  • When the residents returned after some time, they realised that eight houses had collapsed and the walls of their homes had developed cracks. Fortunately, no one was injured. The strong earthquake that hit the village, which is around 75 km from Kalaburagi city, at 9.55 pm was recorded at 4.1 on the Richter Scale.
  • Too scared to go back to their homes, the villagers waited for the authorities to arrive and offer help. But no one seemed to care.
  • Around midnight, the villagers blocked the road and staged a protest, demanding that the officials construct makeshift sheds and provide them with blankets to spend the cold night, said gram panchayat vice-president Jaishan Ali Pattedar. The villagers experienced seven more mild tremors on Monday night and two on Tuesday morning. The authorities visited the village only at 10 am on Tuesday, the residents said.
  • When this correspondent visited Gadikeshwara around noon on Tuesday, lorries, tractors and autorickshaws had lined up the streets to carry people and their household items away from the village to safety.

Villagers unsure of returning

  • Nearly 60 per cent of the village, which has a population of around 4,000 and 800 houses, had emptied out, and the streets wore a deserted look. Tejamma, a labourer, was waiting for a bus to get out of the village. “We don’t have any option but to leave our homes.
  • After the earthquakes at night, the walls in my house developed cracks. We are all locking our houses and going in search of shelters away from the village,” she told TNIE. “We were celebrating Navaratri and lighting the lamp in front of the deity daily. But the Almighty has not come to our rescue.” she said.

Open relief centres, CM tells officers

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday held a meeting with officers from the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority and Kalaburagi district administration to get details about tremors in some villages in the district. He asked officers to open relief centres and send a report about the damage to houses to provide compensation.

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