An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude rocked parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh on Monday afternoon. There was no report of any casualty or injuries.

An official of the Regional Seismological Centre, Shillong, told The Hindu that the earthquake, with the epicentre in Bhutan, was recorded at 2.24 p.m. Its intensity was moderate, he said.

V.K. Pipersenia, Principal Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management said none of the districts, including those bordering Bhutan, reported any damage to property.

There were unconfirmed reports of cracks in some buildings and high-rise constructions in the city. However, Mr. Pipersenia said it would have to be ascertained whether the cracks were already there or whether they occurred due to the earthquake.

This was the fifth tremor that shook Assam and its neighbouring States since August 11.

On September 4, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the region and prompted the State Disaster Management Authority to launch an earthquake simulation exercise. In August, three moderate earthquakes -- 5.3-magntitude on August 31, 4.9 on August 19 and 5.6 magnitude on August 11 -- were recorded.

The tremor on Monday lasted for about 20-25 seconds. It was followed by a mild aftershock.

Panic-stricken residents of the city rushed out of their houses. The occurrence of five earthquakes with increasing magnitude in less than one-and-half months has created panic among the people of the State. The State Disaster Management Authority has identified Guwahati to be the most vulnerable city in the region because of the high-rise buildings and narrow roads.

Assam had experienced two major earthquakes -- one measuring 8.1 in 1897 and another measuring 8.7 in 1950.

Our Kolkata Staff Reporter writes:

An earthquake of 6.2 magnitude hit parts of West Bengal on Monday.

Director of the Alipore Meteorological Department here G.C. Debnath told The Hindu that tremors were felt in the districts of Malda, Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri apart from Kolkata.

There were no immediate reports of any casualty or damage to property in any part of the State, he said.

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