An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Assam on Wednesday. The National Centre for Seismology said that the epicentre of the quake was Sonitpur district. No casualty has been reported so far.
The earthquake took place at 7.51 am at a depth of 17 km, according to the agency. “The earthquake is felt in entire North East region of India and some parts of Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh,” the National Centre for Seismology’s report said. “More than 70 felt reports due to this earthquake, have been received from Assam, Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh...”
Assam State Disaster Management Authority CEO Gyanendra Tripathi said that three residents were injured in the earthquake. “However, there is no death,” he told PTI. “We are still collecting reports from different districts and assessing the total damage to the properties. It will take some more time.”
Regional Meteorological Centre Deputy Director Sanjay O’neil Shaw said the first earthquake was followed in quick succession by lesser intensity tremors of 4.7, 4, and two 3.6 magnitudes at 8.03 am, 8.13 am, 8.25 am and 8.44 am respectively, reported PTI. Another quake of 3.2 magnitude hit Assam’s Nagaon district at 10.05 am. After this, another aftershock of 3.4 magnitude hit Tezpur at 10.39 am and one registering 2.9 magnitude at 12.32 pm hit Marigaon.
Many buildings in Tezpur, the district headquarters of Sonitpur, state capital Guwahati and few other places sustained severe damages.
“Damages to buildings also reported within 100 km from epicentre in areas of Sonitpur, Nagaon, Guwahati as received from Central Seismological Observatory, NCS, Shillong and Regional Meteorological Centre IMD, Guwahati,” the National Centre for Seismology’s report noted.
Healthcare facilities, including Dispur Hospital, Apollo Clinic, Down Town Hospital and Excelcare Hospital, tackling the Covid-19 surge were also affected, according to PTI.
Assam Health Minister tweeted pictures showing the damage to buildings in Guwahati. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken stock of the situation and assured help that will be provided to the affected.
Sonowal visited Dhekiajuli area and inspected the damages at the Sirajuli Model Hospital on Wednesday morning.
On April 5, another earthquake of 5.4 magnitude on the Richter scale struck near Sikkim’s capital Gangtok. No casualties were reported then too.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also said he has spoken to the Assam chief minister, and that he was praying for the well-being of the people of the state.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said he spoke to Sonowal to assess the situation in various parts of the state after the earthquake. “Assured all possible help from the Centre,” he tweeted. “I pray for the well-being of the people of Assam.” Several other Union ministers, including Nirmala Sitharaman, also offered help to the state.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi expressed solidarity for those affected in the state. “My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Assam,” he posted on Telegram, according to PTI. “Covid crisis in the state will be compounded by the earthquake, making it difficult for help to reach the affected. We stand in solidarity with you in these testing times. I appeal to Congress workers across the state to be at the forefront in rescue and relief efforts.”
Climate activist Licypriya Kangujam tweeted saying that she hoped everyone was safe and uploaded photos of damages at a five-star hotel.