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Two die of shock after 6.4 magnitude quake in Assam

The wall at a building in Guwahati after an earthquake on April 28, 2021.   | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Two people died of shock and at least 10 others sustained injuries after an earthquake of the magnitude of 6.4 struck Assam at 7.51 a.m. on Wednesday.

The earthquake, which was felt across Northeast India, Bihar, West Bengal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, also left several buildings and roads in the northern and western parts of the State damaged.

The National Centre of Seismology (NCS) said the epicentre of the earthquake at a depth of 10 km was Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district, and preliminary analysis showed it was located near the Kopili Fault closer to the Himalayan Frontal Thrust.

“The area is seismically very active falling in the highest Seismic Hazard Zone V associated with collisional tectonics where Indian Plate subducts beneath the Eurasian Plate,” the NCS said in a statement, adding that the last major earthquake in the region was of magnitude 6.0 on July 29, 1960.

Watch | 6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Assam

“Two persons died due to shock or cardiac arrest. The deaths were reported from Chandrapur in Kamrup (Metropolitan) and Nagaon districts. We received reports that at least 10 people were injured in different parts of the State,” G.D. Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, said.

He added that many high-rise buildings and hotels, mostly in Guwahati, were among the structures that suffered damage. Roads and fields, mostly in Sonitpur and in the adjoining Darrang district, developed cracks, too.

Among the structures damaged was the new 126 ft Shivalinga-shaped Maha Mrityunjay temple in Nagaon district.

Locals in Dhekiajuli claimed a dry river at Gadhorjuli nearby was filled with water soon after the earthquake. But Sonitpur’s Deputy Commissioner Manvendra Pratap Singh said there was no official confirmation.

There were similar reports from agricultural fields elsewhere in Dhekiajuli.

Some inmates of apartments in Guwahati decided against returning to their accommodations as the structures developed cracks. But the Assam Real Estate & Infrastructure Developers’ Association (AREIDA) allayed fears.

“We have extensively surveyed the earthquake damage and found that these are primarily non-structural damage. We, therefore, request all to act responsibly and discourage the offensive practice of spreading panic,” AREIDA president P.K. Sarma said.

Soon after the earthquake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the situation.

“PM @narendramodi ji is taking regular updates about the situation after the earthquake at Dhekiajuli this morning. Got a 2nd call from the Hon'ble PM within a span of few hours. I have apprised him about the latest situation,” Mr. Sonowal tweeted.

Two die of shock after 6.4 magnitude quake in Assam

Arunachal hit

Wednesday’s earthquake left a trail of destruction in western Arunachal Pradesh with at least 22 houses — seven of them razed — damaged in Tawang district. Two people, injured after their houses collapsed, were undergoing treatment, officials said.

Several buildings in the adjoining West Kameng district suffered damage, too. There were reports of quake-induced landslides, including one between Membachur and Gorbow villages blocking a vital road.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 10:51:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/earthquake-of-magnitude-64-strikes-assam/article34427787.ece

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