Shock After Shock

Prashant Panjiar/Livewire images for TIME.

Gujarat is struggling to cope after the Jan. 26 quake.

Driving into Kutch, I'm unnerved by the devastation on both sides of the highway: the TV images and newspaper pictures didn't prepare me for this mutilated landscape. The epicenter of the earthquake lies in Gujarat's western-most region, where the cotton fields of Saurashtra give way to the dusty plains of the rann, an 18,000-sq-km expanse that once was a marshland on the shores of the Arabian Sea but is now practically desert. The sparse vegetation is more brown than green. This inhospitable terrain is home to the Kutchi people, former nomads renowned for their hardiness. They, along with Gujaratis from the...

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