Bhaderwah, June 14: The situation in Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district has worsened as a series of tremors continue to shake the hilly region, prompting the administration to order the closure of all educational institutions as a precautionary measure on Wednesday.
The fear psychosis of 2013 has returned to haunt the residents as cracks in buildings widen and panic spreads throughout the valley.
After yesterday's powerful tremor of 5.4-magnitude that shook Jammu and Kashmir's Doda district, the region experienced another earthquakes of medium intensity in the early hours of Wednesday forcing residents to rush out of their homes in open for safety.
The first earthquake, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, struck the Bhaderwah-Bhalessa belt at 2:20 am, followed by an aftershock of 2.7 magnitude at 2:43 am, officials confirmed.
Later, three more aftershocks of low intensity were felt during the day at 9.35, 10.20 and 11.43 am that not only triggered panic among the residents but also brought back fear psychosis of 2013, when entire Chenab region in general and Bhaderwah Valley in particular was exposed to a series of earthquakes that continued to rock the hilly region for 70 days.
Reports indicate that cracks in dozens of residential and government buildings, which appeared after yesterday's earthquake, have further widened due to the ongoing tremors in Bhaderwah Valley and surrounding areas. Residents are experiencing heightened fear and anxiety as they grapple with the safety of their homes and the well-being of their families.
Raj Mohd, a teacher at Chakka village in Bhadarwah, said, "I have taken a loan to build my house which has been totally damaged due to yesterday's earthquake. As we cleared the debris last evening, the series of tremors last night further widened the cracks. Now it's not safe to stay indoors. We are going through very bad situation due to increased fear as tremors continue."
"DC Doda and ADC Bhadarwah came here to assess the situation, we need some help as my children and elderly parents can't remain in open for long," Raj Mohd added.
Shakeela Begum, a 65-year-old resident of Nowabad in Bhadarwah, shared her concerns, "We are afraid to enter our houses, which have become unsafe after the earthquake and aftershocks. It reminds us of the 2013 situation when the earthquakes continued for 71 days. This disaster has left us with nothing, as we had invested all our savings to build our home, which is now unusable." Shakeela appealed to the government to provide compensation promptly.
In response to the alarming situation, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Doda, Vishesh Paul Mahajan, ordered the closure of all schools. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Bhaderwah, Dilmir Chowdhary, urged residents not to panic and advised them to take precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incidents.