Tremors scare Gurgaon residents, helpline numbers fail to respond

Gurgaon, Oct 26 (IANS) High-intensity tremors due to a major earthquake in Afghanistan jolted people living and working in high-rise buildings here on Monday, as the official machinery set up to provide information in cases of emergency failed on the occasion.

Though no loss of life was reported, cracks were reported in a few buildings here.

“Tremors due to the earthquake were very powerful; it scared us a lot and most of us rushed out of our offices,” said an executive with a company in new Gurgaon.

After a mock earthquake drill here by Gurgaon Disaster Management Authority and National Disaster Management Authority last week, the district administration had advertised two landline numbers (0124-2322877 and 0124-2322211) for people to provide or collect information in emergency situations.

“I wanted to know the situation after major tremors hit the city but no one attended the said phone numbers,” businessman Dharmbir Yadav told IANS.

The phone numbers are of the District Revenue and Disaster Management Office and Additional Deputy Commissioner V.P. Singh, who is also a nodal officer for the district disaster management authority.

“My husband gave me these phone numbers a few months ago and advised me to call these up for inquiry during emergency. I tried one of the numbers but no one responded,” said Poonam, a housewife.

District Revenue and Disaster Management Officer Ajit Singh was on leave and his office staff were not aware who was to take charge in his absence.

“Cities like Gurgaon need dedicated helpline numbers to answer queries during situations like earthquake. We are establishing a special reception centre for the purpose with helpline number 1077 soon,” said Gurgaon Additional Deputy Commissioner V.P. Singh.

Singh said there was no report of loss of life or property due to the tremors. “Gurgaon is a big city; it will take time to get a complete report,” he said.

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