• Short Summary

    Indian civil engineers, who have been inspecting the burst dam at Morvi, in Gujarat State, say that it may take up to ten years to rebuild.

  • Description

    Indian civil engineers, who have been inspecting the burst dam at Morvi, in Gujarat State, say that it may take up to ten years to rebuild. It collapsed last Saturday (11 August), causing the deaths of at least one thousand people, and probably many more. Some unofficial estimates say that up to twenty-five thousand people were killed.

    SYNOPSIS: The broken dam unleased a wall of water and its force was so severe that factories, houses and bridges were all swept away.

    And, as the search for more dead goes on, the disaster itself has become the centre of a bitter political wrangle. The argument is about whether the government is acting fast enough now, and who ultimately is responsible for the collapse of the dam. Air force helicopters are, meanwhile, dropping supplies to those in inaccessible places. A high-level team of government officials is in Morvi area to direct rescue and relief operations
    So far, about ten thousand people have been evacuated from Morvi. Total damage is estimated at nearly one thousand million rupees (125 million U.S. dollars) while crop losses amount to three hundred million rupees (37.5 million U.S. dollars). Local politicians have criticised the government for failing to... foresee the disaster -- which followed two weeks on Monsoon rains One politician has alleged corruption at high levels concerning allocation of contracts to leading dam builders..
    A train was hurled off the rails as the wall of muddy floodwater poured from the dam. Within minutes, most of the ancient city of Morvi was under water. Only people in houses of more than two floors could escape. The Army and teams of rescuers have yet to comb many streets in their girsly search for more bodies.

    At make-shift funeral pyres beside the Morvi River, eight hundred bodies have been burned. There isn't time for religious ceremonies. Volunteer organisations say the mass cremations should continue quickly to prevent the spread of disease. The fact is that local inhabitants must share the blame for the disaster. At least forty eight hours before the dam burst, they had been advised to evacuate their homes. Because, in earlier years, nothing disastrous happened after similar warnings, many people chose to ignore the direction -- and died.

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