•Seven killed in Manipur, 5 in Bangladesh
•Scores injured, properties damaged
IMPHAL/SHILLONG, JANUARY 4 (IANS): At least seven people were killed and over 100 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale rocked Manipur and other northeastern states before dawn on Monday. West Bengal too was hit, as was neighbouring Bangladesh where five deaths took place.
The toll in Manipur could rise even as rescue operations were on, officials said. The quake snapped power supply across the state, felled multi-storeyed buildings in state capital Imphal and damaged many vehicles.
Those killed included four women, Manipur’s Inspector General of Police Clay Khongsai told IANS.
“The toll has risen to seven and 69 people have been injured,” principal secretary in-charge of home Suresh Babu told IANS in Imphal.
“There has been a lot of damage in Imphal. It is difficult for us to assess the total damage at the moment but the district administrations are on the job,” he said.
The quake, with epicentre in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, took place at 4.35 am. It was also felt in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura besides Myanmar and Bhutan.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey the quake had a magnitude of 6.8 and occurred 57 km deep and struck 29 km west of Imphal, capital of Manipur, which borders Myanmar. In Tamenglong, Babu said four people were seriously injured at Noney village. Officials said there were 14 aftershocks on Monday morning.
The Indian Air Force flew a National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team from Guwahati to Imphal, and to Silchar in Barak Valley of Assam with 3.5 tonnes of rescue equipment.
“We have stationed an NDRF team at Imphal and Tamenglong to deal with the rescue and search operation,” an official said.
Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who chaired an emergency cabinet meet, said the government has taken all steps to deal with the disaster. The government would pay an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakh each to the families of those killed and pay for the medical treatment of the injured, Education Minister M. Okendro said.
Telecommunication and electricity services were badly disrupted in the affected areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Ibobi Singh, and urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is in Assam and who personally felt the quake, to oversee the situation.
Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju flew to Imphal from Arunachal Pradesh.
“Once a report is received, the central government will come out with assistance. There may be more casualties in the interior areas,” he said.
Bangladeshi news portal bdnews24 reported five deaths in Bangladesh and injuries to numerous people. People who fled their homes in panic remained on the streets, fearing aftershocks. Many recited verses from the Quran.
A Guwahati report said at least 20 people suffered minor injuries as some buildings across Assam developed cracks.
At least 12 people were injured in northern West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts.
India’s northeast is considered the sixth major earthquake-prone belt in the world. In September 2011, Sikkim suffered heavy damage as a quake hit the state. Monday’s temblor occurred as a result of a strike-slip faulting (vertical or nearly vertical fractures where the blocks have mostly moved horizontally) in the boundary region between India and the Eurasian plate in Southeast Asia, according to the USGS.
Nagaland: Properties damaged; no human casualty
• NSDMA ask public not to panic or spread rumours
• State Emergency Operation Center, NSDMA toll free number 1070 and landline number @ 0370-2291122
Morung Express News
Dimapur /Kohima | January 4
Tragedy struck Manipur and neighboring Bangladesh when a strong 6.7 magnitude earth quake jolted North East India and Bangladesh early Monday morning.
Nagaland state was more fortunate with no reports of human casualties or major damage to properties. Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA), Home Department confirmed there was no report of human casualty. Some damage to properties was reported in Peren and Dimapur district.
In Peren, damage of houses was reported at Nsong and Athibung under Tening block while in Dimapur, the Apostolic Revival Church at Zakisato colony was reported damaged.
According to information from NSDMA, the earthquake originated in the western part of Manipur between Imphal and Noney-Longmai Tamenglong district, and occurred as the result of strike slip faulting in the complex plate boundary region between India and the Eurasia plate in Southeast Asia.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of close to 50-55 km within the lithosphere plate. The origin time was recorded at 4: 37am and travel time residual at 1.05 second. In the neighboring state of Manipur such as Nagaland, Assam, Mizoram and Tripura the intensity was felt very strong.
Home Commissioner Niehu C Thur said the NDSMA is collating more details of loss and damage report due to quake in the State from other district disaster management authorities.
NSDMA has submitted a brief status report to National Emergency Response Center, Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI at New Delhi, the press statement further stated, adding it is also coordinating with the Government of Manipur to extend any possible help and support if necessary.
The intensity of the quake was strongly felt across the State panicking people to rush out of their homes. Kohima residents said the tremor lasted for more than 20 seconds.
A resident at Naga Hospital colony said he woke up around 4.30 am upon experiencing the first tremor and gathered outside with neighbours.
“After the first tremor I went inside my room to take some warm clothes because of the cold, and then we felt the second tremor which lasted longer and was more intense,” the Naga Hospital colony resident narrated.
Awala, a teacher at a government high school recovering after a c-section birth woke up to rude shaking of the room.
“I thought it would stop, but the shaking kept on going. I panicked and scrambled down to the ground floor with my baby and husband, said Awala, who lives on the second floor of an apartment in Duncan Bosti, Dimapur.
Tsiu Seyie from Mengujuma village under Kohima district said it was one of the most severe quakes the village has experienced in decades.
Meanwhile, NSDMA has informed public not to panic or spread unnecessary rumour which may create fear psychosis. It also advised the public to be vigilant and call State Emergency Operation Center, NSDMA for any further of information @ toll free number 1070 and landline number @ 0370-2291122.
Further, as precautionary measure, it has informed the public, picnickers and trekkers that the temperature in Kohima will remain between 19-6 °C in the coming week and in the hilly valley of Dzukou the temperature may fall below – °C. The public have therefore been requested to take safety measures during the extreme weather conditions.