RUDRAPRAYAG: An earthquake of 5.8 Richter intensity rocked Uttarakhand at 10.33 pm Monday night (Feb. 6), jolting people out of bed and into the streets of the hill state. No loss of life or property had been reported at the time of going to press.
Tremors were felt for 30 seconds in the National Capital Region of the region of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab.
Initial reports suggested that the epicentre of the earthquake was Rudraprayag in Uttarakhand, according to J L Gautam, the operations head at the National
Seismological Bureau, a unit of Ministry of Earth Sciences. The tremors were felt across the quake-vulnerable state, lasting for nearly 30 seconds and sending panic-stricken people out into the streets. ''I was watching TV when the room started shaking and I rushed out with my family,'' said Ajay Chauhan, a resident of Rudraprayag.
An hour after the temblor, authorities in the hill state said they were not sure there was any damage as reports had not been received from the interior of the state. Though an intensity of 5.8 on the Richter scale is considered moderate, the fact that it shook entire north India was worrying, experts said. There was a possibility of aftershocks too.
Rudraprayag is a town in the folds of the Himalayas. Due to the treacherous terrain, it is difficult to ascertain the damage, if any, immediately. ''We are yet to ascertain whether the earthquake has triggered any landslides. It will take some time before we confirm,'' officials told New Indian Express.
Rudraprayag superintendent of police Prahlad Meena told reporters, ''Everything is alright here and there is no information on any major damage as of now. There is also no confirmation about Rudraprayag being the epicentre. So far, there have been no distress calls from anywhere.”
Out of the 13 districts in Uttarakhand, Chamoli and Bageshwar fall in a 100 per cent hyper-sensitive seismic zone. Five other districts including Dehradun, Champawat, Nainital, Uddhamsingh Nagar and Haridwar are 100 percent sensitive zones.
According to a report, sensitivity percentages in Rudrapryag and Pithoragarh are 98.3 and 94.9 respectively. Similarly, it is 96.8 in Tehri and Pauri, 83.3 in Uttarkashi and 81.6 in Almora.