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Home > News > Report

The earthquake that didn't rock

K Anurag in Guwahati | September 08, 2006 20:31 IST

The earthquake might not have rocked Asom on Friday morning as predicted, but it still haunted the people. It was a frightful morning that the people of Assam will like to forget soon.

The frightening prediction made by geologist N Venkanathan was enough to send the state's populace into a tizzy since Thursday night till Friday morning.

As per information gathered from nook and corners of the state, people were up early Friday morning after being haunted throughout the night by the fear of the earthquake that was due to hit the state at 8:21 am.

Households were awaiting the mega quake tensely equipped with carry bags full of essential items prescribed for a disaster situation. People living in multi-storey housing complexes in the bustling Guwahati city gathered at the ground fearing the earthquake. In some neighbourhoods, people were seen loitering near the only available open space.

"People in our housing complex remained virtually awake throughout Thursday night and everybody was out on the ground early Friday morning. It is ridiculous how a scientist can be so insensitive trying to predict an earthquake with precise time and location," said Manas Barua, a resident in the city.

Majority of the families did not send their children to school on Friday morning while many of the schools in the state remained closed as there was confusion about a non-existent government directive to keep the schools closed on the day.

As the clock struck 8:21 am in the morning and the mega-quake was yet to unfold, the tense populace heaved a sigh of relief and everybody was heard cursing the scientist who showed the audacity to predict the earthquake in such a pinpointed manner.

Earlier, on Thursday seismologists and geologists in the state and other parts of the country tried to assure the people of Assam that it was virtually impossible to predict an earthquake with such specific time and location. Still the fear among the populace was unmistakable.

The state government had asked the people to remain firm while dismissing the veracity of such a prediction given that no scientific method or device is available till date to facilitate such precise prediction of earthquake.

However, the district administrations in the state were instructed to remain on alert. In some of the Upper Assam districts, the administration used the public announcement system to call upon the people to remain prepared to face the quake in case it occurred.

The quake was supposed to rock the state with its epicenter at South West of Dibrugarh district in Upper Assam.

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