Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Beware Of Ides Of March

The soothsayer warned Julius Caeser. Latter didn't pay any heed to it and paid with his life. In a queer quirk of fate, life was in jeopardy for us(myself and others living in Maharashtra) too on the very 'Ides Of March', and more so on its eve.

Earth shook, rattling all and sundry. Luckily, I was outside the main building of my office, chatting with my ex-Project Manager. We were so involved in our conversation that I didn't feel any vibrations. Though I did feel some strange sensation in my head and nose which I ignored.

It was only when people started rushing out discussing about the quake then I came to know about it. Of course, for the rest of the day, there were discussions only on this topic. I thanked to God for it could have been worse. The danger for us was doublesome. I will tell you why.

The epicenter of the quake was in Koyna, which is in Satara district, Maharashtra. This place houses a huge dam. A slightly stronger quake might have meant not only disaster due to collapsing of buildings, but also a Tsunami like disaster.

The damage would not only have brought havoc to Satara, but also to Pune whose twin(Muthu-Mula) rivers extract water from Panshet dam, which is not very far from Koyna. Already, there have been floods in Pune in 1962 due to Panshet dam. There have been an even bigger quake(in fact strongest ever in Maharashtra) in Koyna in 1967 which created havoc in the region.

Strangely, some bright dudes think that dams themselves bring earthquakes. Incidentally, this Koyna quake and resulting floods found mention in Manmohan Desai's Amitabh, Shatrughan, Rishi starrer - Naseeb. It brought a major twist in the story, though movie itself was a bad attempt.

Hope everything remains fine. There were 11 aftershocks till yesterday evening. The major Koyna quake was preceded by two minor ones in 1962 & 1965. Could there be another major one in future is anybody's guess.

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