New Delhi: Panic gripped Delhiites on Sunday as tremors from an earthquake that hit the Hindukush region of Afghanistan prompted people to rush out of their homes, while Metro services were also briefly affected.
There were no reports of any injuries or damage to property here as a result of the tremors, which saw high-rises and malls being evacuated as a precautionary measure.
"The earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale at a depth of 190km hit the Hindukush mountain region at 3:58 PM," said JL Gautam, Operations Head of National Centre for Seismology.
As the tremors were felt, people in high-rises rushed outside to safety while the services of Delhi Metro were halted for about three minutes. Trains were also operated at restricted speeds for about 30-35 minutes, a senior DMRC official said.
"Tremors were felt at around 4 PM. All trains were stopped and resumed their journey after 2-3 minutes at a precautionary speed of less than 40kmph," the official said.
"By 4:35 PM, train services were running at normal speeds on all lines. No damage to our property was reported from anywhere," he added.
The tremors were also felt by people who were moving in vehicles on the road. Cars halted abruptly and many motorists pulled over by the roadside.
Delhi Fire Department and police officials said control rooms have not yet received any calls reporting any major damage. People took to social media to post their reactions to the tremors even as many prayed for the safety of others. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was in Delhi Secretariat when the tremors were felt, tweeted,
"Earthquake!!! It was really scary! I could see plants and furniture shaking at 6th floor office of Delhi secretariat. Wish all is well".
Officials of the three Delhi municipal corporations said they have received no information about any untoward incident. In north India, tremors were also felt in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana and Rajasthan.