Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Earthquake joltsTashi Namgyal Academy Building in Gangtok

Principal's quarter
GANGTOK, 21 Sept: It was indeed a shot of luck for students and teachers that the 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit the state on a Sunday and that too in the evening. Most of the buildings at Tashi Namgyal Academy have suffered numerous cracks, some of which could have proved fatal.
A portion of the bedroom ceiling in the principal’s quarters, an old structure made of wood and stone, collapsed when the earth heaved on Sunday. A heap of rocks now stand next to the bed, a part of which was smashed from the impact. The room next to it suffered similar damage. The roof of the cottage, which has developed deep cracks, now stands precariously perched on the top. The school does not have a principal at present, so the cottage was unoccupied when the quake hit.

The Mayor, GMC, Divisional Engineer and Chief Engineer along with other officials visited the school today. The Chief Engineer, HRDD, declared one of the teacher’s quarters unsafe today. The two-storied building is riddled with cracks on the floor and almost all the walls of the ground floor.
Teacher, Indira Pugalia, who lives on the ground floor said, “We need to evacuate and relocate but where is the question.”
The acting principal, Kalyani Bandopadhya, informed that they are yet to decide on the relocation and have informed the department concerned for assistance. Apart from this, the school canteen has also been declared unsafe.
The junior building has also suffered some damage and one classroom in particular has developed a dangerous crack across one wall while glass windows on one wall also came crashing down during the quake. The entrance to the swimming pool also has irreparable cracks and the school administration is planning to break that part of the wall down.
When NOW! reached the campus, the acting principal, was conducting a survey of the campus and giving directions regarding the changes in rooms required when the school reopens on 22 Sept.

(now dailY)

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