Four hurt, damage in southern Assam quake

Agartala/Aizawl/Silchar, Jan 4 (IANS) At least four people were injured in southern Assam and there was no report of major damages in Tripura and Mizoram as a moderate earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter Scale rocked Manipur and other northeastern states early Monday.

District officials said four people, including a woman, were injured in southern Assam — two people were injured in Hailakandi district and two were injured in Cachar district while running out from homes during the tremor.

“At least in five places in Cachar and Karimgang districts parts of walls of multi-storied buildings collapsed damaging eight small vehicles,” the officials said.

Quoting unconfirmed reports, disaster management coordinator Sarat Das told IANS that seven people were killed in different places of Manipur and over a hundred injured in the state.

Of the seven people, five were killed in Tamenglong district alone. We were not able to talk to the officials there as they were busy dealing with the situations, Das said.

“Communication systems, including telephone lines were badly damaged in the quake hit areas of Manipur causing serious difficulties in collecting reports of casualties and damages,” Das told IANS in Agartala.

There was no report of major damages in Tripura and Mizoram except walls of some residences and other buildings were cracked, he said.

According to the regional seismological centre in Meghalaya, an earthquake of moderate intensity rocked India’s northeastern states and adjoining Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan at 4.35 a.m. on Monday.

The quake occurred at a depth of 17 km and had its epicentre in Manipur’s mountainous Tamenglong district, bordering southern Assam and north of capital Imphal.

The quake was also felt in other parts of Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura, said an official of the regional seismological centre in Meghalaya.

Seismologists considered India’s mountainous northeast region is the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world.

The northeast has seen some of the biggest quakes in history. In 1897, the Shillong-epicentred quake measured 8.2 on the Richter scale.

In 1950, an earthquake in Assam measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale forced the mighty Brahmaputra river to change its course. In September 2011, Sikkim underwent heavy damage after a quake hit the state.

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