Quake brings Srinagar to standstill

IRFAN RASHID

Srinagar:

Earthquake on Monday brought summer capital Srinagar to a standstill as it paralyzed vehicular movement, crippled mobile phones, and stranded hordes of commuters and trapped scores of people in their respective places.
People squatted and many laid down on roads in Srinagar when strong tremors hit Jammu and Kashmir on Monday afternoon. Hundreds of people came to open spaces in many areas of the city including Lal Chowk with tears and names of Allah being reverberated louder and louder. The people came out of shops, hotels, offices and educational institutions.
Many females were seen weeping and crying aloud in Lal chowk with fear when surrounding structures and roadside poles were swaying, enhancing the fear-psychosis of the people as the quake lasted for many seconds. They were being offered water by the shopkeepers and people came to pacify them.
A massive traffic mess was also witnessed in the city after Jehangir chowk flyover was stopped for plying of traffic reportedly after a crack was developed there. The traffic mess hit at Amira Kadal, Lal chowk, MA Road, Dal gate and Batamaloo.
The fear of people increased when they were not able to contact their dear ones as cell phones were not able to connect for a long time. Later people took to soial media: facebook and twitter and posted their photos of damage and heart-rending status.  After mobile network, electricity also was cutoff in major areas of the city.
Reports said the road near Rangreth and safa Kadal have developed a massive crack. In Rainawari a roof came down after being knocked loose at hinges due to high intensity tremors.
In parts of old city, old structures shed dust clouds while people came out of their houses, running.
Many houses are reported to have developed severe cracks. People said that severity of the tremor frightened everybody. Indications suggest that the flood-soaked buildings across Srinagar may have suffered maximum damage but officials will take a bit of time to offer some ideas. A newly constructed building at Lal chowk adjacent to yatri Niwas developed cracks.
Reports added that rooftop of the Physics department of Amarsingh college sustained dislocation due to tremors along with new building of Nawa kadal womens’ college. They said that panic gripped the campus with the students running helter skelter. Women’s college reportedly asked students to leave as soon as the effects of the quake lessened. Reports coming from various colleges and universities added that panic gripped the students and teachers when the building started to shake tremendously. Reports added that a female student jumped off from womens’ college hostel.
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