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9 killed, over 100 injured as 6.8 magnitude quake hits North-East

Last updated on: January 04, 2016 21:01 IST

At least nine people were killed and over 100 injured as a strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake epicentred in Manipur hit the northeastern region and jolted eastern India, damaging buildings and triggering panic.

Rescue workers help with the relief operations. Photograph: PTI
 

Manipur bore the brunt of the temblor which struck at 4.35 am, where seven persons, including an 11-year-old girl, were killed and at least 50 injured.

The quake struck at 4.35 am with the epicentre at a depth of 17km in Tamenglong district where many buildings collapsed or developed cracks. But no casaulties reported from Tamenglong.

"The epicentre was near the river Barak, so there was little damage. Though cracks have been reported from many houses, so far there has been no report of any casualty," Additional Deputy Commissioner Joseph Paulin told PTI.

All the seven deaths in Manipur were reported from Jiribam area of Imphal West district, state officials said adding the names of the deceased were, however, not immediately available.

At least 70 persons were injured all over the state, army officials said. They have been admitted to RIMS, JNIMS and ShijaHospital, they added.

People were jolted out of their sleep in northeastern and eastern states including, Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand, and many of them scampered out of their homes.

Army and Air Force have mounted relief operations and two teams of National Disaster Response Force were rushed to Imphal while one was being sent to Assam where at least 20 people were injured.

They have been admitted to RIMS, JNIMS and Shija Hospital, they added.

In Tamenglong, the epicenter of the temblor, district officials said so far no casualties have been reported but four persons were seriously injured in house collapses.

A building collapsed as a quake struck Manipur, sending shockwaves across the north east. Photograph: PTI
 

"The epicentre was near the river Barak, so there was little damage. Though cracks have been reported from many houses, so far there has been no report of any casualty," Additional Deputy Commissioner Joseph Paulin told PTI.

He said that though a bridge in the western part of the district over the river has been damaged, but connectivity was not a major problem with Imphal, located 146 km from district headquarter.

Besides the army, the Indian Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force, the Assam Rifles was also engaged in relief operations, the state officials said. 

“Damage to a few buildings, residential units and government offices have been reported, including damage to a six storey building in Imphal,” according to National Disaster Management Authority.

Power supply to Imphal has been disrupted and some power installations have suffered damage, an official statement said after Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha held a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee on Monday morning.

Several building in Imphal, including the market complex, and roads developed cracks while walls of some school buildings have collapsed, officials said.

Nearly 20 persons were injured in Guwahati and other areas in Assam due to the earthquake, Assam Commissioner and Secretary (Disaster Management) Pramod Kumar Tiwari said

Officials said at least 30 buildings have developed cracks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is in Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation arising due to the earthquake.

Several people have died and the National Disaster Response Force troops have been sent in. Photograph: PTI
 

The PM also spoke to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other chief ministers in the region to take stock of the situation.

Chief Minister Ibobi Singh said that they were trying to assess the extent of the damage. “The prime minister and home minister have assured all possible help,” he said.

“MHA is actively monitoring the situation after the earthquake in the North East region,” Rajnath Singh said.

Army units in Manipur were providing all necessary medical assistance to the injured, defence officials said.

C17 Globemaster & IL76 plane had been kept on standby at the Hindon airbase to respond to any further relief operations as and when needed.

Buildings across the north east have been damaged. Photograph: PTI
 

A National Disaster Response Force team is being sent to Silchar, Assam. A team of engineers from Power Grid Corporation will be sent to Imphal to assist the state government in restoration of power.

A special team of doctors from Delhi including orthopaedics, will be sent to Imphal.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in Guwahati that the Centre will provide all necessary help and support to Manipur and other affected states.

Singh said he has spoken to Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who will reach Imphal from Arunachal Pradesh to monitor the situation.

People ran out of their homes looking for safe places in Mizoram’s Aizwal and the quake was also felt in other parts of the state. Lalchuailova, a resident of Aizawl, said that it was the strongest earthquake he had ever experienced during his 50 years.

A 14-year-old boy was injured in Mizoram while trying to find a safe place during the earthquake. He was rushed to the emergency department of the AizawlCivilHospital where he was discharged after being treated, hospital officials said.

Nagaland State Disaster Management Agency said that strong tremors were felt across the state, but there were no reports of any damage.

The official residence of the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Cachar district, which is near the epicentre at Tamenglong in Manipur, was damaged.

Another view of damaged structures. Photograph: PTI
 

The fire station building in Cachar along with many other installations in the district also developed cracks.

A report from Agartala said the tremor was felt across Tripura on Monday, but there was no report of any casualty or damage to property so far, programme officer of the state disaster management, Sarat Das said.

The earthquake was also felt in several parts of Jharkhand with people rushing out from homes in Dumka.

People in Ranchi, Giridih, Chatra, Lohardaga districts also experienced mild tremors, officials said.

According to the Regional Seismological Centre, the earthquake is one of the biggest in recent times and was felt in the entire north-east region.

The NDMA earlier said it was co-ordinating with the state governments, ministry of home affairs, ministry of defence, NDRF, ministry of telecom and other concerned government departments and agencies for search & rescue and relief.

NDMA spoke to the control room/relief commissioners of all the states in the North-East- Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland as well as West Bengal.

All states in the north-east are categorized under zone V in the country’s Seismological map and considered to be highly vulnerable.

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