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September 13, 2001 - September 13, 2001

Cyber cafes filled with panicked relatives, friends Thursday, September 13, 2001

VADODARA: With telephone lines choked up, cyber cafes in the city came to the rescue of several persons making desperate attempts to contact friends and relatives in the US.

Heavy rush was witnessed at several internet cafes in city on Tuesday night.

When desperate attempts to make contact over phone proved futile, people used e-mails, messenger services and chat rooms. Cyber cafes remained open till late on Tuesday.
"There were several users whose sole purpose for using the Net was to get in touch with their near and dear ones. Tension was palpable, which was unlike usual days when people surfed for leisure," said Sameer Chauhan, proprietor of Magic Blue cyber cafe in Fatehgunj.
The scene was similar in several cyber cafes across the city. Those attending to clients said several of them breathed a sigh of relief when they contacted their relatives. A momentary trouble with connectivity made them panic.
Said Dhiren Patel, who works with D2V cyber cafe in Alkapuri, "With phone lines down, there was a definite increase in the number of people making attempts to contact the US. There was a definite change in what use the internet was put to. Some casual surfers were also hooked on sites showing images of the tragedy."
In contrast, STD-ISD PCOs proved to be of little help to citizens. Said Vinesh Bhojani, who runs a PCO. "Several persons came to make calls to the US. The efforts were in vain despite repeated attempts. This does not happen on other days when international calls get through quickly," Bhojani said.
Several others who could not make it to cyber cafes had asked their friends and relatives to do the same. "A student of mine asked me to help him out in contacting his relatives there. Others too were hooked on the Net, busy mailing friends and relatives in the US," said Nikitin Contractor, who heads a prominent software training and immigration agency in the city. Contractor gave free access to his students wishing to get information on the tragedy.
While the cyber cafes had few problems with connectivity, the speed went down considerably on internet services being provided through cable TV connections. Sarin Sheth of Technet-Online said the usage increased considerably on Monday night. "The internet access speed had dropped considerably. This was due to an unexpectedly higher usage," Sarin said.
While it was desperation that drove several to the internet, several others accessed it only for information. Websites and accounts of the devastation became a major draw.
"Tuesday night, people visited cyber cafes to get in touch with their relatives. Since Wednesday morning, they have been opening websites for exclusive pictures and latest reports. A few even browsed bulletin boards of various sites," said Chauhan.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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BHAVNAGAR ::: Three more drowning deaths in the city Thursday, September 13, 2001

BHAVNAGAR: Three more deaths on Wednesday last put the toll at ten in one month due to drowning in lakes and check dams in Bhavnagar district.

Rajpalsinh Ajitsinh Sarvaiya (12),Hardiksinh Pravinsinh Gohil (10), and Sumanta Jashubha Gohil (28) were drowned in Avania talao, 11 km from here.

A woman Taraba Ajitsinh (30) was saved and taken to a city hospital.
According to Bhavnagar police, two women had gone to the talao to wash clothes and had taken children along.

Chief minister Keshubhai Patel announced help of Rs. 25,000 to each of the bereaved families from the Chief Minister's relief fund. Bhavnagar district panchayat president Zaverbhai Bhalia also declared help of Rs. 5000 to the affected families from the jilla panchayat fund.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Range police to collect 5000 units of blood for US Thursday, September 13, 2001

VADODARA: Vadodara range police have decided to collect 5,000 units of blood and dispatch it to the US. The decision was taken here on Wednesday in the wake of an acute shortage of blood in New York.

The range police have also set up a core group to co-ordinate the blood collection exercise. The blood collected will be send to New York through America-India Association, which is headed by Mike Patel. The association's local representative in Vadodara, Raju Bhatt, will be co-ordinating with the police, district superintendent of police Keshav Kumar said.

State government help is also likely to be sought in this direction.

Meanwhile, the district police observed 2 minutes' silence to mourn the deaths of those who died in the terrorist attack. The 2 minute silence was observed during roll-call at police stations.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Convention on Kutch quake Thursday, September 13, 2001

BHUJ: The Forum of Concerned Citizens for the quake-affected people will hold its state convention on September 16 at Hatkesh complex, Chhaththi Bari, here at 2 p.m.

People from Bhachau, Anjar, Rapar and Bhuj talukas, Maliya takuka of Rajkot district and from Surendranagar district will attend it.
Some concerned citizens from Surat, Valsad,Vadodara and Ahmedabad are also expected.
The convention is being organised in association with Senior Citizens Society, Bhuj, Anjar 2001 and Bhachau Lok Samitti to protest against the failure of the state government to rehabilitate properly the earthquake-affected people.
The forum came into existence on May 5, 2001, hundredth day of earthquake with a march on that day in Ahmedabad. It decided to bring the quake victims and concerned citizens on one plat platform and compel the government to work for the quake-affected people.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Americans in state shocked Thursday, September 13, 2001

Susan Sinclair wept after reading the e-mail sent by her 15-year-old granddaughter, Rebecca, from Washington, minutes after a commercial plane rammed into Pentagon.

"Many people have died and it's scary to think about what government is gonna do about it. I have heard people comparing it to Pearl Harbour and stuff. We saw the buildings on fire on the TV..." Rebecca wrote in her e-mail.
"My daughters and grandchildren stay in Washington DC. I came to know about the terrorist attack after reading an e-mail sent by my daughter. This was around 8 pm when I was just casually checking my mails," Susan says. A former highschool English teacher from Florida, currently staying in Alkapuri, Susan's first emotion was of shock and horror.
"I screamed and cried. I wanted to be close to my daughters and grandchildren," she recalls. "I could see my daughter Cindy and granddaughter Becca weeping. Becca is just 15. I feel sad that kids have to go through all these things. The image of a jet running into WTC, unleashing unprecedented horror, will be etched in tender minds forever. Sad," Susan said.
Martin McClanless, director of Astec Industries, was awake till 3 am watching TV. "It has still not seeped in. It was a shock. First images that came to my mind were of my family, friends and colleague. One of our salesmen was near WTC when the jet rammed into it. Thankfully, he is safe," McClanless says.
"This is an act of cowardice. But as our president said in his address this morning, they can the shake foundation of a building but cannot shake the foundation of America. We will fight back," McClanless said.
Richard Hyde, who belongs to Texas and has been in Jamnagar for three weeks, got frantic calls from his family back home _ their concern _ that Hyde was too close to Afghanistan, where the suicide attack is believed to have originated.
Hyde, who is visiting the Reliance plant, told TNN from Jamnagar, "My family was worried about me since this place is close to Afghanistan and Pakistan".
Describing the attacks as "awful", he said he was not so much worried about the WTC as he was for the Pentagon. "I am more frightened about the attack on Pentagon because that is America's military base".
Asked if America had it , he said, "America is generally the world power. Americans don't like to impose themselves on anyone, but when we are angry, we can release a lot of power. Americans can take a lot of abuse, but..."
Hyde feels not just America but the whole world ought to get together to fight terrorist forces.
"I am still trying to trace my friends Piyush and Devesh Patel. One of them works in the Merryl Lynch Tower near WTC and the other works in WTC. There is no news about them. We are very worried. Hope they are safe", said US citizen and an NRI from Vadodara Parag Amin.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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