Posted by: Prem Piyush | February 21, 2005

Earthquakes and Me


At a distance to my office there is Border Security Force Station. Often the militaries will do practice shooting in their range. Along with this the golden quadrilateral’s road construction work is going on near by only. Many a time my chamber’s glass panels will react violently towards the shooting sound and construction vibrations.
More over I am living at a town which is in seismic zone –IV like most of the north Bihar districts. Each moment there is possibility that a earthquake more powerful than Bhuj. Personally I have felt 3 earthquakes after growing up. First time I felt was in my Navodaya days, when I used to live in Maranga campus north hostels. At that time the thundering of hostel roof which was made up of asbestos and swinging single storey beds broke up our deep morning sleep. We ran out the hostel before we could understand that something like earthquake was that. The unprepared guys in funky dresses came out. No one slept afterwards on the night we the helpless boys just kept our Jha sir surrounded till morning. And from next night we were half asleep till the fear went off after some days. My second experience of earthquakes was at my home when again in early dark morning hours when we were in deep sleep, the showcase glass panels started making peculiar shaking sound and shaking bed. We are Japanese kinda person here ready for such events anytime. The main gate key is kept at quiet secured but handy place, So within seconds we were out of the house. In our side there is religious but quite scientific custom that if people feel the earthquake and the vibrations recedes, people will blow counch (Shankh), to make aware that earth quake is felt and be aware from now. Scientifically proved fact is that there may come more vibrations in succession. Third one was felt during my Siliguri stay at afternoon hours when I was working on my friend’s computer and suddenly I heard the asbestos vibrations and shaking of everything, it lasted few seconds only. Sure I ran out of the house within seconds after leaving the computer’s program running inside.

But after feeling those vibrations, I am comfortable with the vibrations I feel in my chamber. But I am worried for that day when real earthquake will come and if I shall take granted the vibrations as regular vibrations! If that happens really according to forecast and this sub Himalayan zone shakes violently, the north Bihar districts will be affected mostly. After reading this post, please don’t think that we are leaving at a dreaded zone of natural disaster. Let me give an example of Tsunami victims who did not left the coastal towns even after the disaster and Japanese who learnt to leave with earth quakes since ages. Otherwise disasters can come anywhere either at beautiful Phuket beach or at top of World Trade Center (It was not natural disaster but a disaster by human’s ‘nature’).Like millions worldwide, we have learnt to live under the nature’s powerful canopy. We are ready to accept nature’s nature. Moreover the UNDP is running disaster awareness and management program in the region along with the local government.

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