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Earthquake rocks Assam, Meghalaya

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Assam and Meghalaya yesterday evening, triggering panic among locals. No casualties have been reported. According to the Regional Seismological Centre in Shillong, the earthquake occurred at 6.11 pm. The epicentre was at Nagaon in Assam.


Big jolt: A person shows cracks on the wall of a building caused by an earthquake in Guwahati. The quake sent people fleeing into the streets in panic, damaged buildings and left two injured. A house collapsed and cracks appeared in some buildings. Pic/AFP

The tremor was felt in almost all districts in Assam. Some buildings in Assam’s main city of Guwahati were seen to have developed cracks after the tremors. In Meghalaya, the tremor created panic among locals. “Our apartment was literally swaying for close to 15 seconds. We rushed out of our home in panic,” said Kester Thabah. “People panicked and ran out of their homes and offices with buildings shook for close to 20 seconds,” said John Sangma, who was on his way home from his office.

East Khasi Hills District Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said that there have been no reports of any damages caused by the quake.
Moderate tremors were also felt in Kolkata, its surrounding districts and northern West Bengal. The seven north-eastern states — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur — are considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world. The region experienced one of the worst earthquakes, measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale in 1897, which claimed the lives of over 1,600 persons.

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