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Northeast India rocked by quake of the decade

February 04, 2011 22:09 IST

A 6.4 magnitude quake, believed to be the biggest in a decade, shook most parts of the northeast and West Bengal on Friday evening.

There was, however, no immediate report of any damage or casualty.

The epicentre of the quake, which took place at 7.24 pm, was located at the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur, the Central Seismological Observatory inĀ  Shillong said.

People ran out of their homes as the quake shook the buildings for about 20 seconds while aftershocks were felt for a few more seconds.

The epicentre was located at 24.8 degree north latitude and 94.6 degree east longitude.

The quake occurred 30 km below the earth's surface and was felt in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and parts of Mizoram, West Bengal and Nagaland.

Officials say this was the biggest quake in the past ten years after October 11, 2000, when the intensity was 6

on the Richter scale.

On September 21, 2009, an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter was felt in the region. The quake had left over half a dozen dead in the neighbouring Bhutan where it had the epicentre.

The northeastern region, lying in the highest seismic risk zone, had experienced some of world's worst quakes, be it the Shillong quake or the Assam one (1950), both measuring around 8.5 and reckoned to be two major quakes in human history, both in terms of intensity and destruction.

The 1897 quake that occurred in the Shillong plateau had left 1,542 people dead.

Records of the Central Seismological Observatory in Shillong also point to increasing seismic activity in the region.

34 quakes of light and moderate intensity was felt in the region in 2009.

The region had witnessed 26 earthquakes each in 2008 and 2007, while it was 23 in 2006.