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India announces 61 mln USD for Indian-controlled Kashmir quake relief


20:35, May 16, 2013

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, May 16 (Xinhua) -- New Delhi has announced a financial relief of 60.9 million U.S. dollars for the quake-hit areas in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said Thursday.

"A financial assistance of INR 334 crores (60.9 million U.S. dollars) has been sanctioned by centre for the earthquake victims here," said G N Saroori, a lawmaker affiliated with Indian Congress party.

The earthquake hit Indian-controlled Kashmir's Bhaderwah, Doda and Kishtwar districts on May 1, causing damage to a majority of the buildings in the area.

Indian Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has made two visits to the affected areas, following which the announcement for relief was made.

The local government last week announced an immediate relief of 4.5 million U.S. dollars for the victims.

Authorities have shut schools in these areas in wake of aftershocks in the area and vulnerability of school buildings. The people are living in the tents provided by the government.

According to India's official broadcaster All India Radio (AIR), 33 tremors have been recorded in the Bhaderwah-Doda-Kishtwar belt during the past fortnight.

Geologists say Indian-controlled Kashmir is located in a zone of high seismic activity.

An earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale with its epicenter 23 km east of Doda town struck the region on May 1 causing extensive damage in the districts close to the epicenter.

Two people were killed and around 100 others including school children suffered injuries in the earthquake due to collapsing structures. A 61-year-old woman died of heart attack when fleeing from the house during the earthquake in Soti hamlet Wednesday.

Srinagar falls in Seismic Zone-V and other parts of Indian- controlled Kashmir in Seismic Zone IV.

A major eartquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale with its epicenter in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir shook the region on Oct. 8, 2005, causing large scale destruction killing 80, 000 people.

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