The Mizoram government on Friday urged the Centre to extend assistance and send seismologists to the state to study the “ground situation” as a series of earthquakes have hit parts of the state over the past few weeks.
In a letter addressed to Union Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said Champhai district in the eastern part of the state has been affected multiple times due to seismic activities, ranging from 4.2 to 5.5 magnitude, since June 21.
Aftershocks were recorded in the area on more than fifty occasions, he said, adding that the tremors have caused damage to several houses, community halls and religious places.
“In this connection, it is my request to you to kindly extend assistance to this state… expert seismologists or geo-physicists from the Geological Survey of India may kindly be sent to Mizoram to study and assess the ground situation at the earliest,” Zoramthanga wrote in his letter to Joshi.
The chief minister said the frequent earthquakes have added to psychological pressure of people at a time when they are already affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
People in several areas have erected makeshift tents, where they could spend the night, as many are sceptical about sleeping indoors.
Zoramthanga also asked the Union minister to expedite the study to determine the feasibility of installing more earthquake observation centres in the eastern part of Mizoram with real time seismic telemetry for disaster preparedness.
According to the chief minister, the extent of damages caused by the recent earthquakes is being assessed by departments of geology and mineral resources, and commerce and industry with the help of geologists from the GSI-Mizoram unit.
Eight earthquakes have rocked Mizoram since June 18, with Champhai district bordering Myanmar being hit the hardest.
Champhai district deputy commissioner Maria CT Zuali told PTI that at least 158 houses, including church buildings and community halls, have been damaged in the earthquakes.
Adjoining districts of Saitual, Siaha and Serchhip have also been affected, officials said.