Dhaka, Jan 4 (IANS) At least three people died in Bangladesh in a massive earthquake that also jolted the northeastern region of India.
The quake, with its epicentre in Tamenglong district of Manipur and measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, shook the country, rattling nerves and causing panic, Xinhua reported.
A youth died following a heart attack in Dhaka while another person succumbed to injuries sustained while rushing out from his home in Rajshahi district, some 256 km west of capital Dhaka.
An old man also died following a heart attack in Lalmonirhat district, 343 km from Dhaka.
Around 100 people have also reportedly been injured in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country as they rushed out of their respective residences for safety in panic.
Panic-gripped people, who took to the streets and stayed there for a long time being afraid of possible aftershocks, were seen reciting verses of the Holy Quran and other prayers loudly.
Some of them started the Azan (call for prayer) to seek God’s mercy.
Mizanur Rahman, director of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, said at least 40 persons were rushed to the hospital.
He said several of them were injured when they jumped from upper floors of buildings.
Dozens of Dhaka University students were also injured while evacuating halls during the quake.
However, police and fire officials said there were no immediate reports of any big damage.
Although no major building collapsed in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country yet, the powerful earthquake reportedly caused cracks and tilting of some buildings.
A meteorologist of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said the quake, with its epicentre some 352 km to the east-northeast of Dhaka, struck the country around 5.05 a.m. (local time).
Thousands of people in Dhaka and many other parts panicked and rushed outdoors following the jolts which lasted for several seconds.
Abdur Rahim, a resident of Dhaka, described the temblor as a big crash that shook his house.
Bangladesh, which sits on the earthquake zone, is prone to tremors and experts have predicted a major earthquake in the near future.
The Earthquake Disaster Risk Index of Stanford University ranks Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka among the 20 cities most vulnerable to earthquakes in the world.