Imphal/Nagpur: A 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit the country’s remote northeast region before dawn on Monday, killing at least one person, injuring 50 others and causing damage to several buildings.
There were reports of damage to a popular market in Imphal, the capital of Manipur. The tremor left large cracks in several walls and a portion of the building collapsed, police said.
The death and injuries were caused by falling debris in and around Imphal, police said.
Several reports said there were power failures in several areas hit by the earthquake. A newly constructed six-story building also collapsed in Imphal.
The meteorological department said the epicentre of the quake was in Tamenglong region of Manipur. It struck at a depth of 17km in the India-Myanmar border region.
In its initial impact assessment, USGS said “some casualties and damage are possible and the impact should be relatively localised”.
It said buildings in the area were largely “highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking”.
The tremors were also felt in West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.
“I was sleeping when the tremors woke me up. I ran out of the house as it continued for almost a minute,” said Rajiv Pandey, a Kokar resident in Ranchi. No major damage was immediately reported in Jharkhand, an official of the disaster management department said.
The Prime Minister is the monitoring situation in the northeast and a National Disaster Response Force team has been instructed to move from Guwahati to the areas affected, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
People panicked and rushed out of their homes in Guwahati, the capital of neighbouring Assam, as they felt massive tremors at least twice within 60 seconds.
In Imphal, residents said furniture was knocked over and books fell off shelves but no major damage has been reported so far.
“The ground swayed for almost a minute, jolting people awake in their homes,” said one resident, Apem Arthur.
The area is dotted with small houses. There are few tall buildings in the region, she said.
The country’s seven northeastern states, joined to the rest of the country by a narrow sliver of land, are located in an area of frequent seismic activity. The border region is remote and sparsely populated on the Myanmar side.