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River surfaces in Kutch after the killer quake



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River surfaces in Kutch after the killer quake
By Shyam Parekh

The Times of India News Service

AHMEDABAD: A 100-km-long, 80-metre wide river has sprung to life all of
a
sudden in the Great Rann of Kutch after the January 26 quake.

The river is clearly visible in the images taken by the Indian remote
sensing satellite, IRS-1D, and is said to be running from Nabisar in
Pakistan to Maruda Takkar in India. Incidentally, this is the only rocky

landmark in the over 30,000-sq km of the barren salty expanse of the
Rann.

Besides the river, dozens of small and large palaeo channels
(underground
rivers) have surfaced.

City-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientist P S
Thakker,
who has charted the river's course and archaeological sites in the Rann,

says: ``The new river appears to be extending up to Khadir Beyt (a
desert
island), before taking an eastward turn up to Bela Island.''

The satellite images were taken on January 29 and compared with those
taken
on January 4. The result showed numerous geographical changes in the
Rann
area, which is out of bounds due to the hostile climate as well as
security
reasons.

``The changes appear to be of two main types - surfacing of the rivers
and
upheavals and disturbances in the Rann. It is difficult to tell from the

images whether the disturbances are deep pits or small mounds, but a
large
and new network of rivers and rivulets is clearly visible,'' Thakker
says.

The 23-metre resolution camera images show that the second channel comes
up
to Khadir and takes a westward turn before going south up to Ekalma
Temple,
north of Chobari village in Bachau taluka.

The new rivers - some of which have dried up since the images were taken
-
and others might have salty or fresh water and could be part of either
the
Saraswati river network or that of the Hakra that disappeared in the
14th
century AD.

``Even in the Moti Banni area, near Bhojardo village that lies east of
Udai
village, a 24-km-long and 600-metre wide river channel has emerged. It
extends up to Lakhaba in the Little Banni region. It was full of water
on
January 29,'' the scientist says.

Similarly, a 17-km-long, 250-metre wide channel has been located north
of
Pachchham Island. Water has also been sighted near Bhurud and Kaila
villages, besides north of Jhura and Sumrasar villages in the Banni
region.

Another channel, about 20-km-long and 250-metre-wide, originates near
Kunvar
Beyt and extends southwards to Pachchham Island, which is north-east of
Kuran village and Nirona Vandh. Yet another channel, almost six-km-long,

originates somewhere near Kunvar Beyt and flows southwards in the west
of
Khavda area. A branch of the channel flows westwards.

A river flowing from Nagarparkar desert in Pakistan to Bela Island has
also
been observed in the images.

Significant disturbances are believed to have taken place in the area
south-south-west of Nada Beyt in the Great Rann, north of Santalpur
taluka
of Patan district and the area west of Suigam in Vav taluka of
Banaskantha
district. Scientists are awaiting confirmation of reports about the
changes
in these locations



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