Fearing natural disaster and to evade casualty many people in east Mizoram’s Champhai district bordering Myanmar have built makeshift tents and spent their nights outside their homes after a series of earthquakes hit the northeastern, an official said.
Four Mizoram districts- Champhai, Saitual, Siaha and Serchhip have been hit by earthquakes on at least 22 occasions in a month since June 18.
The latest earthquake to hit Champhai was recorded in the early hours of Monday.
According to the National Centre for Seismology, an earthquake of 3.2-magnitude rocked the district at 3.39 am and the epicentre was 24 km south of Champhai.
In Champhai district, which is the hardest hit, more than 170 houses, including churches and community halls have so far been damaged by earthquakes, officials said.
However, the final figure could be higher as official as still assessing the losses, they said.
Champhai district deputy commissioner Maria C T Zuali said that makeshift tents and camps were set up at several villages by people.
She said several people especially old and those owning concrete buildings were afraid of sleeping inside their house and spent their nights outdoors.
According to the deputy commissioner, the district administration provided tarpaulins, water barrels, solar lamps, first aid kits and eatables, including biscuits and sorazo (food supplements) to the inmates.
She said that at least 20 earthquakes have hit Champhai district alone, which have affected more than 16 villages in a month.
At Dungtlang, one of the worst hit villages in Champhai district, at least 5 makeshift camps have been set up, according to Dungtlang Young Mizo Association (YMA) assistant secretary John Zothanmawia Fanai.
He said that two earthquakes of medium intensity rocked the village on Wednesday.
On Monday, the government sent three teams of doctors that consisted of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and medicine specialists to quake-hit areas to assist the people, who developed mental trauma following the natural calamities.
The doctor teams are currently touring affected villages in Champhai district.
Dr C Lalhrekima, a psychiatrist in a government hospital, who led one of the teams, said that many people have anxiety due to frequent earthquakes.
“We are giving counselling to the panic-stricken people apart from giving medical care,” he said.
The State Government on Tuesday sent state geology and mineral resource department joint secretary H. Lalbiakkima, who is also a geologist, to Champhai district to study and assess the cause of earthquakes.
Some geologists from Mizoram University (MZU) will also visit quake-hit villages in Champhai district, according to officials.
Earlier in June, chief minister Zoramthanga had asked the Centre to send expert seismologists or geo-physicists to assess the ground situation and exact cause of the earthquakes.
Geologists said Mizoram earthquake zone is caught between two major faults- the Churachandpur fault and Mat fault.
They believed that several minor faults that existed between the two major faults must have been the reason behind frequent earthquakes.