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Gurung announces all educational institutions in GTA closed on 27th - 28th April for quake safety

GTA chief announces all educational institutions in GTA closed on 27th - 28th April for quake safety
GTA chief Bimal Gurng announces All Government and Non Government Primary, Secondary & Higher Seconday schools and colleges to remain closed on April 27 & 28 in GTA area for the safety of children from earthquake aftershocks. Degree Exams will be Conducted As per Routine.

Owing to multiple tremors being felt across the Himalayan region, and the prevailing high alert situation all schools - Primary, Secondary, ICSE, CBSE, Madhyamik, and Colleges across the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration will remain closed on April 27th and 28th, 2015.


This is an emergency note from the GTA Chief Executive.

Source: The Darjeeling Chronicle

Darjeeling residents gathered in Chowrastha as quake tremor hits town

Darjeeling Chowrastha
The aftershock of the earthquake that struck on Sunday sent people in Darjeeling scurrying to open places like the Chowrastha. When the aftershock at 12.41 pm hit the town, people including traders whose shops were located in tall buildings rushed to Chowrastha, even as hundreds of others took to the open streets.
“I left my shop which is inside the Dragon market on Ladenla road open and rushed to Chowrastha when the first tremor hit the town. Several others also followed me out of their shops. We are hearing that aftershocks will continue which is a giving me a scary feeling,” said a Subala Pradhan, shop-owner, who later in the day asked a known person to close her establishment. Another trader Pemba, said, “Yesterday, having felt the tremor and now another one, I am at my wit’s ends. I am constantly calling my family to know their situation. It is Sunday today and we usually do good business but I will go back home early to be with my family”.
Unofficial reports say that the cracks have developed in some properties in Darjeeling. “A new market complex at Ladenla Road has sustained damage while minor cracks are also visible in one of the building in the district administration premises,” one said.
Cracks was also seen in one of the building of the army headquarter at Jalapahar. “We had repaired the cracks after the 2011 quake. But, today the same wall split after the tremor. But otherwise there is no damage,” said Brigadier Sachdev of the Jalapahar Army Cantonment.
In the fringe areas of the town, people have already started camping in open available grounds. “We have come to the high school ground because we fear we there will more tremors in the night. We don’t want to take chances, “said a housewife from the Rajbari area where the ground is located over phone to this reporter.
Even tourists aware of the procedures flocked to the safety of the popular Hills promenade. “I know that we must be in open space which is why I rushed to Chowrastha along with other tourists when we felt the tremor in the afternoon. We will stay here for some time and then return back to our hotel. But I am really sacred what will happen in the evening and night,” said Tarun Talukdhar from Kolkata.
In Chowk Bazar which is the business and market area of the town, people jostled for space on the narrow streets even as vehicles plying to other places found it difficult to negotiate when the first aftershock occurred. The unplanned way in which tall structures have been built in Darjeeling is a constant worry during earthquakes and landslides. People continued to watch the tall buildings that surround the market with many even pointing to possible cracks in some of the structures.
The quake in Nepal has brought back to Darjeeling the memories of the devastation in September 2011. “Thank god nothing happened in this earthquake. But I am still in a state of shock. It brought back the dreaded memory of the September 2011 quake,” said Janaki Biswakarma, a housewife who in 2011 had stayed in a rehabilitation centre for nearly a week fearing the aftershocks.
The 2011 earthquake had severely damaged government and public properties in the hills though there were no casualties. It however did cause extensive damage in the neighbouring state of Sikkim.(EOIC)

Nepali youth on Everest expedition missing after quake hit

Anis Luitel at the Mt Everest base camp
Anis Luitel, a 23-year-old youth, who is the first person from Jhapa district in Nepal to go on an expedition to Mount Everest, has been missing since yesterday when the earthquake hit the country.

The youth hails from Dhulabari, a hamlet in Jhapa district in eastern Nepal, around 50km from Siliguri. He left home on March 20 for the expedition to Mount Everest, also known as Sagarmatha in Nepali.

The youth's father Shiva Prasad, is the headmaster in a school in Chandragadhi, in Jhapa. "I am confident that my son will be back home safely. We have spoken to the district administration to see that he can be located," said the concerned father over phone.

The youth's favourite quote, as he mentioned on his Facebook account, is: "If you'll go forward you'll die, if you'll go backward you'll die. So it is better to go forward and die."

"We all wished him luck and arranged funds for him. He is the first resident from Jhapa to participate in a Mount Everest expedition. People across the district and also in the neighbouring districts of Nepal like Illam and Taplejung had appreciated his effort and generously contributed for his expedition," said Mohan Kazi, the secretary of Anis Sagarmatha Arohan Sahayak Samiti which collected funds for the youth's expedition.

Anis had sent a text to Mohan on Thursday.

"In the text, he had mentioned that he was on his way to camp-II from camp-I. He was supposed to take rest for four-five days and would then make the summit. However, after yesterday's earthquake, we could not make any contact with him. We have also contacted the private agency in Kathmandu, which had arranged the expedition. But, they are clueless," said Kazi.

"Since the commencement of the expedition, it was me with whom Anis was keeping regular contact. He had made phone calls to me and sent text messages. But for the past 24 hours we are concerned as we could not contact him. The entire Jhapa district is praying for his well being."

After yesterday's tremors, it has been learnt that the base camp of Mount Everest and the route leading to camp II, have been damaged in an avalanche.

"If he has made it to camp II, there are chances that he might be safe. We are also in touch with the local administration and have urged them to speak to the government and initiate the exercise to find him and the other members of his team," said Kazi .

Anis is also a member of Nepal Scouts and has studied in Boston University at Massachusetts. He is known to be adventurous.

"Anis had successfully summated Imja Tse, also known as Island Peak, in Eastern Nepal. This is his second expedition and first expedition to Mount Everest," said Parbat Biswakarma, an acquaintance .

"Everybody knows about his expedition as he needed around Rs 26 lakh for it . Anis could manage to arrange Rs 9 lakh. The remaining was collected as donations from people. Residents of Jhapa wanted to have an Everester in their district and wanted him to return with success," he added.

Tez Prasad Poudel, the chief district officer of Jhapa, said they are in contact with officials in Kathmandu.

"We are aware that Anis Luitel cannot be contacted since yesterday. He is indeed the first youth from the entire Jhapa district to go on an expedition to Mount Everest. We have spoken to our officials in Kathmandu and are trying to locate him," said Poudel .

The Telegraph.

Earthquake shook kills 3 in Darjeeling district deaths take toll to 8 in NB

Nepal Earthquake destroyed building balcony in pradhan nagar siliguri
Three fresh deaths were reported in Darjeeling district taking the toll in north Bengal to eight since the earthquake shook Nepal yesterday.
Over 50 are under treatment at hospitals across the region.
As a round of tremor shook Siliguri last night, Gyanranjan Das, 81, and Biren Das, 72, both from Baghajatin Colony in Siliguri, died. Sources said both tried to come out of their homes but fell down and suffered cardiac arrests.
"I have met their families and expressed my condolences. Both were rushed to private clinics and doctors pronounced them dead," said former minister and CPM leader Asok Bhattacharya.
In Mirik, 50km from Siliguri, Pushpa Pradhan, a 70-year-old heart patient, died during the tremors.
Fresh tremors were felt in Darjeeling and some other parts of north Bengal this afternoon and people rushed in panic.
"This afternoon, 22 people came to Siliguri district hospital, 12 have been admitted and the rest were released after first-aid. Among those admitted today, 10 needed medical care. Two have suffered injuries in their limbs. In total, 39 patients are under treatment since the earthquake struck yesterday," Asit Biswas, the chief medical officer of health, Darjeeling, said.
Siliguri MLA Rudranath Bhattacharya visited the hospital. "We are providing best possible treatment. The chief minister visited the hospital today and we apprised her with all relevant details."
Today, officials of Siliguri Municipal Corporation held a meeting. "We will conduct an extensive survey and assessment of buildings that have been damaged. A team of engineers and officials of our building cell will do the survey," SMC commissioner S.W. Bhutia said.
SMC sources said according to preliminary reports, around 2,000 buildings have suffered different degrees of damage. "While most have developed cracks in ceilings and walls, there are cases where boundary walls or a portion of a building has collapsed," said a source.
In Darjeeling, GTA has asked all schools to shut down for the next 40 hours starting tomorrow. Colleges, where exams are on, have been kept out of the purview of the directive. In Siliguri, some private schools are shut. "We have decided to keep our school closed from tomorrow till April 29. We have around 1,200 students," Robin Chakraborty, the vice-principal of St. Michael's School, at Jyotinagar in Siliguri said.
At Kakarvitta, the border town in Jhapa district of eastern Nepal, hundreds are waiting for buses to Kathmandu and flights from Chandragadhi airport in Bhadrapur, around 23km away.
"I am from Bhadrapur and I run a business from Kathmandu. I came here on Thursday with my wife to see my parents leaving our three children at home," L.P. Shivakotay said from outside the airport. "We have not been able to contact our children since yesterday and we are trying to reach our friends and relatives so that they tell us that our children are safe." Shivakotay was seated on the ground as his wife Yashoda was speaking over the cell phone with acquaintances in Kathmandu.
"Not a single flight operated between Bhadrapur and Kathmandu today. I am waiting with the hope that at least one flight will land here and take off for Kathmandu," Shivakotay said.
Suryajyoti Rai said: "I stay in Mirik but my family is in Kathmandu. We were told that no flights were operating. I will book a hotel in Kakarvitta and wait for transport and flights to resume. I am fortunate that I could, only once, speak to my family today. They are safe."
Rewant Bahadur Kunwar, the airport chief at Chandragadhi, said: "Our runway has not suffered any damage and signal and other systems are working perfectly. But because of some problem or the other flights did not take off from Kathmandu today. Since the earthquake, no flight has landed in Bhadrapur. There were five flights today but all have been cancelled."
Netra Karki, the president of Travel Association of Jhapa, said: "Everyday, around 25 buses go to Kathmandu and three-four go to Pokhara from Kakarvitta. Not a single bus has arrived from Kathmandu since yesterday. Drivers are not ready to go to Kathmandu as the road has been severely damaged."
From Kakarvitta, Kathmandu is around 450km.
"We are very worried about the prospects of tourism industry in Nepal," Karki said.

The Telegraph

Government said No Earthquake Forecast for India by NASA

UNESCO heritage Dharhara Tower in nepal destroyed by earthquake
UNESCO heritage Dharhara Tower in nepal destroyed by earthquake
New Delhi: The NASA has made no earthquake forecast for India, the government said on Sunday, and asked people to ignore text messages with a "fake" prediction of a strong quake to hit north India.

"It is fake. The NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) cannot predict earthquakes. Such messages are only seeking to create panic among people," a seismologist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) told IANS.

Scotching the rumours, the IMD said the Indian government had received no such intimation from the US.

"No country can predict earthquakes. The technology has not advanced so much as yet. There is some research going on in China, but even they have not reached any substantial result," the official said.

Purported as a NASA forecast, a text message doing the rounds among mobile phone users in parts of India reads: "North India will face next earthquake at 8.06 p.m... The next richer (Richter) scale of earthquake will be 8.2. News from NASA. Plz forward message as much as u can."

Panicked, people on Sunday called up media houses to check the veracity of the message.

The government clarified that "there is no substance in such messages", adding "it is not possible to forewarn unless the earthquake has actually struck".

Also Read: 7.9 magnitude earthquake rocks Kathmandu nepal, massive dmages reported - watch video

Again 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Nepal, Death toll crosses 2200, Tremors Across North East India

Nepal earthquake destroys UNESCO heritage Dharhara Tower,Durbar Square
Fresh tremors were felt today in Nepal, and across north and east India, a day after a quake devastated the neighbouring country and affected parts of India. The aftershocks measured 6.7 in the Richter scale according to United States Geological Survey -- the epicenter was Kodari, around 80 km east of Kathmandu.

Soon after, the defence ministry, which is helping with the relief and rescue operations in Nepal, suspended vehicular and air traffic there. "All movement to Kathmandu kept on hold till 16.00 (4 pm) due to fresh tremors in Nepal," tweeted a spokesperson of the Defence ministry.

The Kathmandu airport shut down as the air traffic controllers evacuated. The IndiGo, SpiceJet flights that were to land in Kathmandu, were turned back. Private airlines had resumed flights to Kathmandu this morning.

In India, besides Delhi, the tremors were also felt in Lucknow and Jaipur. And in Bihar, where more than 50 people died in yesterday's earthquake, the tremors were pronounced and went on for several minutes.

In Delhi and Kolkata, metro services were stopped temporarily.

Climber Jim Davidson said he felt the aftershock at the Camp One on Everest. "Just had our biggest aftershock yet here at C1 on Everest. Smaller than original quake but glacier shook & avalanches," he tweeted.

Giving details of the aftershocks, GL Gautam, director of the Indian Meteorological Department, said, "More aftershocks will follow... This will continue for weeks... northern India would not face much of a problem."

Yesterday's earthquake, which measured 7.9 on Richter scale, killed more than 2,200 people in Nepal and 62 in India and led to widespread devastation.

Thousands of people were displaced in Nepal, roads developed huge cracks, old buildings were flattened. The aftershocks remained mild, but panic-stricken people spent the night under the open sky.

The worst quake to hit the Himalayan country in 80 years also triggered a deadly avalanche that buried a part of the base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest; 19 bodies have been recovered so far, 61 people have been injured. Five others died below the base camp.(NDTV)

One killed after hit by Innova car at Rambi

One killed after hit by Innova car at Rambi driver arrested
Rambi, Mukesh Sharma: A elderly man Mani Ram Bhujel(50) of Nojok busti  is dead after being struck by a vehicle in NH 10 Rambi on Friday.

The man was hit about 11.10 pm on Rambi Bazar by a Innova Vehicle WB 76 9714 going toward siliguri. He died at the spot according to eye witness.

Soon after the incident the driver and the vehicle was taken control by the Rambi Police. The local in anger came into the road for about 10 min which later submitted a memorandum demanding Speed Breaker at Rambi .

One of the Local said that Rambi area has 3 School . A BPHC which cover a vast area. Today victim too came to visit his wife who was admitted at the BPHC.

The Body was sent for Post Mortem at Kalimpong Sub divisional Hospital . The Driver Punam Tamang of Sonada has been booked under section  279 and 304 A of IPC and will be forwarded tomorrow to Kalimpong Court.

Nepal earthquake causes landslides in Sikkim

Nepal Earthquake 2015 triggers landslide in sikkim
A high-intensity earthquake measuring 7.9 (7.9 magnitude earthquake rocks Kathmandu nepal, massive dmages reported - watch video ) on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, struck Nepal on Saturday, triggering landslides in various parts of Sikkim.

The quake, having its epicentre in Nepal, was felt at about 11:48 a.m., officials said.

A series of minor landslides have been reported from various places in the State they said, but there was no report of any loss of life so far.(PTI)