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Govt warns against rumours; Rajya Sabha condoles deaths

 New Delhi, April 27 (IANS): People should not believe rumours about earthquake that are being spread through social media and messages, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Monday as the Rajya Sabha condoled the deaths in Nepal.

"There are messages coming on social media that at 9 pm earthquake would come, or at 8 pm earthquake would come," Prasad said in the Rajya Sabha.

"Such rumours should be ignored. There is no basis to it, and if there is some authentic information, government will act on it," he said.

Rumours have been afloat on social media and through messages giving time for a "predicted" earthquake.

The Rajya Sabha condoled the deaths in earthquake in Nepal and expressed commitment on Indian side to help people of Nepal.

Members also appreciated the government's efforts for the relief and rescue work.

Over 2,600 reportedly lost life and more than 5,000 were injured when a massive earthquake 7.9 on Richter scale struck Nepal followed by a series of aftershocks, causing extensive damage to life and property.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Hamid Ansari said the house stands in solidarity with the "friendly people of Nepal".

"The earthquake in Nepal caused huge devastation. India is willing to help and we have taken immediate action," Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said as the issue was raised in the house.

Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien pointed that "no politics" should be brought in as members speak on the issue.

Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Ram Gopal Yadav said: "The loss is unimaginable".

He added that Uttar Pradesh has deployed several buses to get people out from Nepal.

Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the government should fill the vacancies in the National Disaster Management Authority.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad cited the friendly relations with Nepal and shared the grief.

"The government needs to be vigilant as many parts of the country are on the seismic zone," he added.

"There should be state- and district-level disaster management arrangements," he said.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati appreciated the government's quick reaction to the disaster, which also hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury suggested MPs should make a contribution towards sending relief.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also suggested that MPs can use their MPLAD funds to provide assistance in building hospitals, schools and roads in quake-affected areas.

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