25 years of Latur Osmanabad earthquake: Recap of the deadly tragedy that shook Maharashtra

One of the deadliest earthquakes witnessed by the country, the Latur Osmanabad earthquake, hit Maharashtra on September 30, 1993. The villagers every year observe a ‘black day’ on September 30. This was the day when a devastating earthquake struck the Latur-Osmanabad region 25 years ago, killing around 10,000 people and injuring over 30,000. Although so much time has passed, people are still coming to terms with life and some are even waiting for compensation for damages suffered in the massive disaster.

Here are some facts you may not know about the Latur earthquake:

The earthquake left a huge hollow at Killari village in Maharashtra’s Latur district, which was also the epicentre, and remains in place till date.

The earthquake primarily affected the districts of Latur and Osmanabad. Considering the number of districts affected by the tremors, the toll of those killed and injured was very high because Latur is a densely populated place. Since the tremors had hit around 3:56 a.m., villagers of Latur and surrounding areas had no warning and hence many of them were smashed to death under the remains of their own houses which collapsed in the shockwaves. The earthquake created so much havoc also because its hypocenter was relatively shallow, only 10 km deep resulting in more damage caused by the shockwaves.

Photo from FPJ’s archive

About 52 villages were demolished in the intraplate earthquake

Photo from FPJ’s archive

Since the location of the tremors did not lie on a plate boundary, it is not certain as to what caused them. The existence of fault webs could be one reason, whereas according to another argument, the construction of a reservoir along the Terna was responsible for leading to fault lines.

Photo from FPJ’s archive

Relief items and rescue workers were sent by many foreign and local donors as soon as the news about the earthquake hit the headlines. Foreign donors sent the first convoy of 120 trucks containing tents, blankets, food and clothing, medical supplies and temporary shelters.

Photo from FPJ’s archive

After the damage was estimated in numbers, reconstruction was offered by the World Bank for reconstruction of Latur.

Photo from FPJ’s archive

Rescue work was immediately commenced by the Indian Army, State Reserve Police Force, Central Reserve Police Force, and other law enforcement agencies as well. A little later, the assistance of Rs 46.55 lakh was provided to farmers and 299 persons were given cattle as they had lost theirs in the earthquake.

Photo from FPJ’s archive

1,26,132 agricultural apparatuses were also provided to the farmers
The National Disaster Management Authority was also set up only after the Latur earthquake.




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