On 26th January 2001 a severe earthquake occurred in Gujarat, India.The epicenter being 20km from North East of Bhuj.

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Gujarat Earthquake - Eyewitness

I was in India when the earthquake happened in 2001. In Bhuj, everywhere you looked you could see the buildings that had fallen down like a pack of cards. They had to organise mass funeral pyres to cremate the thousands killed and set up temporary hospitals in tents on the roadside or any open ground available to treat the injured. All the people in the hospitals had to be rehoused in tents as it was not safe to be inside any building due to the aftershocks which happened on a regular basis. I remember being woken up a few times while camping out in the grounds of a hotel.

After the initial surge of activity, there was not much reconstruction for a few months while the town planners decided how to rebuild the city. Now, Bhuj is a new city without loosing its old charm. The narrow lanes in the old town have been widened so that rescue vehicles can drive through. There is a new civilian airport terminal and a ring road which helps with the traffic flow. Thousands of houses have been built and the construction work is still going on.

Bhasker Solanki