the fully loaded magazine
Even as I write, Nepal has been hit by earthquakes again. Every time there is a natural catastrophe within the country or in the neighbourhood, alarm bells start ringing in the corridors of power in Delhi about our own vulnerability (Himalayan Plunder, May 11). Yet, after the initial shock, the government and disaster-mitigating agencies fall into the same pattern of routine and complacency—till the next disaster. Geologists say nearly 60 per cent of the subcontinental landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes and that the hastily built cities in India are vulnerable to extensive damage. The government of India has listed at least 38 cities in moderate to high-risk seismic zones. The state and its agencies have to swing into action to ensure that we are well prepared when disaster strikes any location in India. This is a major challenge that India needs to confront considering that there are all kinds of doomsday forecasts are being made.
J. Akshay, Bangalore
Pulling off a major diplomatic masterstroke, Kathmandu asked emergency responders from 34 nations, including NDRF, to wind up the 192-hour-long search and rescue effort and leave Nepal. Not betraying ingratitude or brashness, this move demonstrated spine, self-respect and individuality of the badly stricken nation. Forces that stay behind on the pretext of “carrying on repair operations” sometimes tear apart the nation in need, as US forces did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dr George Jacob, Kochi
Given our earthquake proneness, it’s imperative that rules are followed in the construction of houses and office buildings. Fire safety measures too must be strictly in place.
Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi
While India went all out to help Nepal in its hour of need, our government should re-examine its own preparedness in dealing with such natural calamities to restrict and minimise their damage potential.
J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad