25 April, New Delhi
41 people were killed in India Saturday as a strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook leaving a trail of devastation. The quake that occurred at 11:41 AM with its epicentre in Nepal, flattened houses, caused huge craters and cracks on roads in many parts of the county.
Speaking to reporters, Home secretary L C Goyal has said there were 41 deaths in the country – 30 in Bihar, 8 in Uttar Pradesh and three in West Bengal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered immediate dispatch of relief and medical teams to Nepal. Chairing a high-level meeting in New Delhi today to review situation following earthquake in Nepal, Modi directed that proper arrangements be made for rendering assistance in evacuation of stranded tourists.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said disaster response agencies NDRF are on full alert. Indian Air Force, Army and Border Road Organisation are kept on standby for rescue operations.
President Pranab Mukherjee today said, India is committed to provide every possible assistance to Nepal in dealing with situation arising out of massive earthquake.
Mukherjee called upon State Governments and concerned agencies in India to take all necessary steps to provide relief to those affected by earthquake. He expressed condolences to families of deceased and prayed for speedy recovery of injured.
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, several helicopters will be sent to Nepal today and Sunday along with food supplies and essential technical help.
The Foreign Secretary said, India will also provide its expertise in the damage assessment. He said, Indians who are stranded in Kathmandu and want to get in touch with family in India can contact India’s Embassy in Kathmandu.
External Affairs Ministry has set up a 24-hour control room at its office in South Block. Assistance can be sought by dialing +91 11 2301 2113, + 91 11 2301 4104 and + 91 11 2301 7905. People can also email at email@example.com to sort out their queries related to massive earthquake.
The Cabinet secretariat has set up a 24 hour telephone line for the purpose of Inter department coordination centre including for state governments. The numbers are 011-23016633, 011-23792281. The National Disaster Management Authority also has set up control rooms. The numbers are 011-26701728, 011-26701729 and 9868891801.