|Damages From Mirik|
On Tuesday afternoon, Mirik looked like a ghost town. Most hotels have either been emptied or shut down. Shops opened for a few hours in the afternoon, but most downed shutters by early evening. Residents have been keeping indoors till evening and spending the nights out in the open. SSB forces are ready to swing into action if a calamity strikes.
Every night he keeps vigil along with a band of youngsters. "Earthquakes can't be predicted. So, the only way is to warn people as fast as we can. But it's extremely tiring and I feel exhausted now after spending sleepless nights," he said. At Okayti Tea Estate, labourers are yet to get over the shock of Monday's tremor. Sangita Sewa, an estate worker, was doing her household chores when she heard a thunderous clatter around 5.30pm. Even before she could look out of her kitchen window, the wall started giving way. "The bricks tumbled out of the wall as if it had been rammed. I cowered under a table and it blew over in a few seconds. The tremors also left numerous cracks all over the house," said Sangita.
The district administration hasn't yet been able to reach out to the quake affected zones around Mirik. Some panchayat representatives have only done a sketchy survey of the damage, said villagers. But no real help has reached any village. Hundreds don't have tarpaulin sheets to sleep under.
SSB commandant Manoj Kumar, who is leading a team engaged in area assessment, said he had never seen such widespread panic in the hills. "Aftershocks are rarely so severe! But since you can't predict them, we must keep fingers crossed," he said.
News Via TOI