* Devastating Earthquake in Gujarat: more than 11,000 feared dead
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat was cruelly jolted awake on Republic Day by a monster earhquake measuring a whopping 7.9 on the Richter scale. The temblor wrought unbelievable destruction all round and is believed to have left more than 11,000 people dead in the state. Bhuj, the epicentre, and Kutch got delinked from the rest of the country. Parts of Bhuj town, district headquarters of Kutch, disappeared from the face of the earth in the quake's aftermath.
* Aboove 90 highrises in Ahmedabad collapsed
AHMEDABAD: Broken bodies, broken souls. Ahmedabad became the stage of one of the greatest tragedies on Friday. A city which had not experienced an earthquake in more than 50 years trembled with fear and grief. People spilled on the streets, some were a mere audience, while others made every effort to help. A major portion of the proud sentinels from Ahmedabad's history, the Bhadra fort, collapsed with the impact of the tremors. More than 90 buildings came down like a house of cards.
* Large-scale destruction in entire region
AHMEDABAD: Reports of large-scale destruction and deaths have been reported from Morbi, Maliya and Navlakhi regions. Kotada Nayani village in Wankaner taluka has been completely razed. As many as 125 people were reportedly killed in Morbi and Maliya regions, 40 in Wankaner, 87 in Jamnagar, 10 in Rajkot, 55 in Surendranagar, 76 in Junagadh and five in Porbandar. Wankaner palace and the central portion of Darbargadh in Rajkot gave way. The Surajbari bridge, the only road link between the border district of Kutch and the rest of the state, has collapsed.
* Strong aftershocks expected
AHMEDABAD: A number of aftershocks are likely to follow the earthquake which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and is believed to have occurred some 110 km north/north-east of Jamanagar at 23.4 degree north and 70.32 east longitude at a depth of 23.6 km. The quake shook the entire state with tremors being felt as far as Delhi in the North and Bangalore in the south. This is one of the worst quake to have occurred in the country during the past 180 years.
* Govt alert
AHMEDABAD: Army batalions had been sent to Bhuj for rescue operations. Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel promised a compensation of Rs 5 crore each to Ahmedabad and Bhuj. Union defence minister George Fernandes rushed to Bhuj to take stock of the situation.
The Weather -=-=-=-
Ahmedabad: Maximum temperature 27 deg C, and minimum was 7 deg C.