Dimapur, April 28: Seven back-to-back earthquakes jolted Assam and some other NE States on Wednesday morning, causing extensive damage to buildings and forcing people to scamper out of their homes, according to reports.
The first of the shocks of 6.4 magnitude with its epicentre at 43 km west of Tezpur, the district headquarters of Sonitpur district in Assam, was felt at 7.51 a.m., Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Deputy Director Sanjay O’neil Shaw said.
The effect was felt in almost the entire north-eastern region and even parts of West Bengal. In Dimapur, the shocks were experienced at around 7.55 a.m.
The sustained tremors were felt in other parts of Nagaland including Kohima and Mokokchung.
The first shock was followed in quick succession by lesser intensity tremors of 4.7, 4, and two 3.6 magnitudes at 8.03 a.m., 8.13 a.m., 8.25 a.m. and 8.44 a.m.
Another earthquake of 3.2 magnitude hit the Assam’s Nagaon district at 10.05 a.m.
A while later, another jolt of 3.4 magnitude hit Tezpur at 10.39 a.m.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and enquired about the damage caused by the quakes.
“Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal Ji regarding the earthquake in parts of the state. Assured all possible help from the Centre. I pray for the well-being of the people of Assam”, he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke to Sonowal and assured him that the Centre stands firmly with the people of Assam.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “To my sisters and brothers in Assam who are now dealing with the double blow of an earthquake and the rampaging second wave of COVID, I send you my love and prayers.”
Sonowal urged everyone to stay alert and said that he is taking updates from all the districts.
People ran out of their homes and other places in panic, obliterating social distancing and other COVID guidelines amid a raging pandemic. No casualty was reported, but many people suffered minor injuries while running out in panic as the first quake struck.
There were reports of widespread damage to buildings and other structures from across Assam, mostly in the central and western towns of Tezpur, Nagaon, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Dhekiajuli and Morigaon.
In Guwahati, the Chief Minister’s block at the ‘Janata Bhawan’ complex, the state secretariat, witnessed some damages, sources said.
The luxury Taj Vivanta in Guwahati also witnessed massive damages with several glass panes, ceilings and walls falling apart, but there was no injury to any employees or guests, hotel spokesperson Indranee Phukan told PTI.
Healthcare facilities such as Dispur Hospital, Apollo Clinic, Down Town Hospital and Excelcare Hospital also saw damages, hampering services amid the surge in COVID-19 cases.
A multi-storied building in Nagaon tilted on the adjacent structure, triggering panic.
Dozens of homes, apartment buildings and shopping malls across the state also developed cracks. Many vehicles were damaged after concrete blocks fell on them due to the jolts.
(Page News Service)