The 1993 Latur Earthquake
The earthquake struck at 3:56 am on September 30, 1993 and primarily affected the districts of Latur and Osmanabad. 52 villages were devastated. It was an intraplate earthquake and measured 6.4 on the Richter scale.
Approximately, 20,000 people died whilst another 30,000 were injured. The earthquake’s focus was around 12 km deep – relatively shallow causing shock waves to cause more damage. Killari, where the epicentre of the quake is believed to be located, has a large crater, which remains in place till date.
Among the first to respond were Amateur Radio operators from Mumbai and Hyderabad, who rushed to Omerga town near Latur from where all quake-hit areas could be accessed by road. The Mumbai-based JNA Wireless Association undertook a special mission. With four-wheel drive vehicles made available for the purpose by Mahindra and Mahindra, a group of eight Mumbai-based radio hams escorted the supplies convoy from Mumbai to Omerga.
Later, these ham radio operators split into four groups and visited scores of ravaged villages, relaying vital information such as possible outbreak of disease, food supply situation and devastation of the area. During the 10-day field trip, these radio hams successfully assisted disaster mitigation efforts undertaken by the Indian government and private aid agencies.
It was observed that in both the above cases of natural disasters, since they are “Acts of God”, there were no reports of looting, violence and aggressive behaviour. Perhaps the Indian psyche tends to accept such “Acts of God” as part of their karma.
This article contains an excerpt from the book on Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI) published by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM).
To know more about Community Resiliency Indicator (CRI), click here.