Experts visit quake-hit northeastern states to assess damage

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Imphal, Jan. 8 (ANI): A three-member expert team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, visited Imphal to take stock of

damages caused by a powerful earthquake this week.

The state government had invited the professors of IIT Roorkee to study the impact of the quake and examine affected buildings, including those in the iconic Ima Keithel, popular Mother’s market, in Imphal.

Professor of earthquake engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, Dr. Yogendra Singh, said several buildings had developed cracks and were unsafe.

“The present situation, I will say, is dangerous. The building has developed serious damage and the administration has taken the right step by evacuating it. So it should not be occupied in its present state; it needs retrofitting before it can be occupied,” he said.

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The professor of earthquake engineering further said that there was no need to demolish the buildings as they could be repaired, adding that detailed analysis was necessary and damaged portions ought to be removed and reconstructed.

Meanwhile, the women vendors of the popular Ima Keithel market staged a sit-in protest demanding an alternative place from the state government.

Reportedly, the women had staged a protest a few days ago against the officials of Manipur Government for allegedly using poor quality materials to build the markets.

The powerful earthquake, measured by the U.S. Geological Survey as 6.8 in magnitude, struck northeast India and Bangladesh on Monday before dawn.

U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was 57 km deep and struck 29 km west of Imphal, which borders Myanmar.

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It was the most powerful earthquake to hit the state since 1957, according to academics at the department of seismological research at Manipur University.

Tremors were also felt in neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal and even as far away as the Myanmar capital Yangon, about 1,176 kilometers (730 miles) to the south. (ANI)

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