New Delhi, July 18 (IANS) People living in the Shahberi village in Greater Noida saw a dark dust cloud in the sky on Tuesday evening as they ran out of their houses thinking that it was an earthquake, not realising that two buildings in the area had collapsed.
“We were having food when the earth shook as if due to a quake. We ran out, but we realised that a building had collapsed. When we rushed for help, we got to know that two buildings had collapsed,” Narendra Dubey, a resident, told IANS.
“We called the police, which came after an hour. We walked around the collapsed structures with our mobile lights on to enquire if anyone needed help. We spotted a man and informed the police,” he said.
At least four persons were killed and several others got trapped under the debris of two residential buildings that collapsed in a village in Greater Noida — one of the fast-developing real estate hubs on the outskirts of Delhi, officials said on Wednesday.
The rescue work started late on Tuesday night and is continuing.
Fear has gripped the people living around the collapsed structures. Many residents are providing drinking water and food to the affected people and offering shelter A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team has been deployed.
“Till 2002, the village hardly had any market or connectivity. But as the nearby area developed, the land in the village also started turning into a part of multi-storeyed buildings,” a villager said.
“The builders focused only on the number of flats and not on roads or sewerage. Most roads remain flooded around the year as there is no drainage in the area,” said Anshul, a businessman living in a nearby flat.
“I shifted to the area about a year ago. We are fearing for our building now,” he said.
There was too much of moisture in the walls of the basement of the collapsed buildings. The construction material was of poor quality, an official told IANS.
Several buildings surrounding the collapsed structures are under construction and face the same problem of inadequate drainage, resulting in water collecting in the basement.