Gujarat Earthquake

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Jan '01

India

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A very powerful earthquake shook the western Indian State of Gujarat on January 26, 2001 killing thousands of people and destroying almost all of the buildings in the area. Khalsa Aid dispatched a team to the area while a second team was placed on standby. When the team arrived it was 1am and the survivors were all sleeping in the open either because their houses were destroyed or they were too frightened to sleep indoors in case of any further powerful tremors.

The team had taken over 50,000 water purification tablets, which were very quickly given out to the first 2 camps they visited. There were many other NGOs present in the city of Bhuj so the team decided to assess the situation in villages located in the north of the city towards the Pakistani border.

It was decided by Khalsa Aid that large tents be purchased so that each tent could comfortably sleep 6-8 adults. After spending a day looking for a suitable supplier the tents were ordered and a truck was hired to transport the tents to a Gurdwara in Gandhidam which was located 60 Km from Bhuj. In the meantime, a second team had been instructed to depart for Gujarat as the time for the first team was coming to an end. Within two days of ordering, the truck full of tents arrived at Gandhidam and so did the second team from the UK.

Both of the Khalsa Aid teams held a meeting to discuss the efficient and fair method of distribution. The first team headed home and second team took over.

With the great help of the local Sikhs, Khalsa Aid distributed tents individually to each family. The remaining funds were used to hire water tankers and to go around the villages providing clean drinking water for thousands of people.

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