Quake toll shoots to 21 in Bihar
The death toll in the two <g data-gr-id="33">high intensity</g> quakes that rattled Bihar on Tuesday rose to 21 on Wednesday, with two more deaths reported from Vaishali and Siwan districts.
"The death toll in the <g data-gr-id="37">high intensity</g> quakes that hit Bihar yesterday has gone up to 21. Altogether 82 persons have been injured. We are taking all care to provide relief to the victims and their families," Bihar Disaster Management Department (DMD) Principal Secretary <g data-gr-id="36">Vyasji</g> said.
Patna and East Champaran are the worst affected districts with three deaths each. Two persons each died in Madhepura, Purnia, Vaishali, Siwan and Darbhanga districts, while one each lost their lives in Sitamarhi, Khagaria and Sheikhpura districts.
DMD officials said the maximum number of seriously injured persons were in East Champaran, where over 30 people suffered injuries as roofs and walls collapsed. People also suffered injuries while rushing out of buildings.
With the numbers expected to climb further, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said, "The earthquakes have provided a warning" and appealed to the people to abide by the building construction bylaws as the state was highly prone to earthquakes.
"We will all die for sure, but why commit suicide," Kumar said while inaugurating a two-day Bihar Conference on 'Disaster Risk Reduction'.
"People don't die due to earthquakes, they die due to falling buildings. So many multi-storied buildings are being constructed and no open space is being left. I have warned at least a dozen times, but nobody is willing to listen on these issues.
"Don't be happy that buildings are not coming down in Patna. What if the epicentre were in the plains? Five lakh people will die in Patna if the epicentre of a 6.8 intensity earthquake, like the one that hit Bhuj in Gujarat, is located here," he said.
Kumar said the only satisfactory thing in Tuesday's earthquake was that the panic witnessed in the April 25 temblor was absent this time.