Massive Quake Jolts North India, 2 Armymen Injured in Kashmir

Published: 27th October 2015 12:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2015 12:51 AM   |  A+A-


SRINAGAR: A massive earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter Scale today rattled north India, leaving two Army personnel injured in Kashmir's Sopore district, and causing widespread panic.

The earthquake epicentred in the Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan struck at around 2.40 PM, sending ripples across Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. Soon after, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has asked for an urgent assessment of the situation in the wake of the quake and offered assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

"Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone's safety," the PM said on Twitter. "I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan & Pakistan," he said.

In Jammu and Kashmir, two army personnel were injured when their bunker collapsed following tremors in Sopore, 55 kms from here, in north Kashmir's Baramulla district. The bunker collapsed inside Ganjoo house, where an army unit is camping, resulting in injuries to two soldiers, following which they were taken to the hospital, officials said.

The flyover at Jehangir Chowk in the heart of Srinagar also developed a crack, forcing the authorities to suspend traffic over it, the officials said. However, elsewhere there was no immediate report of any casualty in the quake. In the national capital, people frantically rushed out of their houses and offices as the ground shook.

Trains across the Delhi Metro corridor came to a screeching halt as soon as tremors struck the national capital and services were resumed after 15 minutes, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Even after the services were resumed, trains ran at a very slow pace and it took long for normal operations to be restored as a comprehensive safety check was undertaken.

According to National Center for Seismology, a unit of Ministry of Earth Science, the epicentre of the earthquake was the Hindukush mountain range, known to be a high sesimic zone. The earthquake occurred at the depth of 190 kms. The quake triggered widespread panic in many northern states. In Uttarakhand, men, women and children scampered out of residential buildings as did people from their offices and business establishments as fans, TV sets and flower pots shook under the effect of the quake.

Disaster Management and Mitigation Centre officials said there has been no report of any damage to life and property from anywhere in the state where tremors were felt in Mussoorie, Dehradun, Haridwar, Roorkee and Rishikesh. The shockwaves were also felt in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.

People rushed out from the buildings in Chandigarh's main commercial area Sector 17 and other places in the Union Territory including the Civil Secretariat here. "I thought I had suffered some kind of health complication as suddenly I felt my head spinning and my heart beat going up," said Sudhir Gupta, a local resident. Priyanka, a teenaged student, who had come to purchase some books, said, "I thought I was losing consciousness. I have never experienced such a strong quake in my life before".

The tremors also briefly disrupted telecom services. Similar reports were received from Amritsar, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Patiala, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Ludhiana and Mohali. The quake also triggered panic among people in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Karnal, Panipat, Sonepat, Gurgaon, Rohtak, Faridabad, Panchkula, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Bhiwani.

Mild tremors were also experienced in parts of Uttar Pradesh especially in the western region of the state. "Mild tremors were experienced in some districts of the state but as the epicentre of the earthquake was Hindukush region of Afghanistan, it lost its intensity by the time it reached Uttar Pradesh," Director MET, JP Gupta said.

Reports of minor tremors were received from Hathras, Saharanpur, Baghpat, Amroha and Moradabad at around 14.50 PM. The quake was also felt in parts of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Sikar, officials said. No loss of life or damage to property was reported so far from anywhere in the state. In Himachal Pradesh, officials said no loss of life or property was reported from any part of the state.

"As per the preliminary reports, no loss of life or damage to property has been reported from any part of the state and the respective Deputy Commissioners have been asked to keep vigil and take necessary precautions," Special secretary (Disaster Management) D D Sharma said in Shimla.


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