‘Thank God we are still alive,’ this was the first reaction of 22-year-old Solan Lamvah of Senapati district in Manipur when she realised that she had survived the massive earthquake. Recounting the horror, she told ENe, ‘I was sleeping with my sister when I felt our home on the top floor of a high-raise building was shaking like a leaf. We somehow managed to make it to the ground floor though we were dizzy with fear’.
Lamvah is not alone, in the wee hours of Monday, many people of India’s Northeast were rudely woken up from sleep to encounter one of the worst earthquakes in recent history. Even countries neighbouring India felt the tremors. While interacting with ENe, R Imo Singh, legislator of Sagolband in Imphal-West District informed that Manipur government has already closed down all government schools for the next 7 days. ‘Besides, all major markets and other public areas have been evacuated,’ he disclosed.
Meanwhile, speaking on the issue, Dr Rafiul Ahmed, Assistant Professor of Geography at Sikkim University, said, ‘The Northeast is no doubt an earthquake prone zone; however, the region has become even more vulnerable because of haphazard urban planning’. He further added that the recent earthquake on the Assam-Manipur border is a reflection of this fact.