Panic in north India as 4 earthquakes shake Nepal in an hour

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 03-10-2023 23:39 IST | Created: 03-10-2023 23:39 IST
Panic in north India as 4 earthquakes shake Nepal in an hour
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Four earthquakes, the strongest being of magnitude 6.2, jolted Nepal in quick succession on Tuesday with tremors reverberating through parts of north India, including Delhi-NCR, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said.

An NCS official said the first quake of magnitude 4.6 struck west Nepal at a depth of 10 km at 2:25 pm, followed by the 6.2 magnitude jolt at 2:51 pm.

Two more quakes (magnitude 3.6 and 3.1) hit the same region at a depth of 15 km and 10 km at 3:06 pm and 3:19 pm, respectively.

The epicentre of the strongest quake was located in Dipayal district in west Nepal, 206 km southeast of the pilgrimage town of Joshimath in Uttarakhand and 284 km north of Uttar Pradesh's capital Lucknow.

''The events were recorded by more than 60 broadband seismic stations installed by the National Centre for Seismology. The analysis of seismic data shows that the events occurred on the North Almora Thrust (NAT), which provides a very suitable location for triggering the mainshock due to appreciable structural heterogeneity in and around the mainshock. The preliminary fault plane solution derived from moment tensor inversion suggests a thrust fault,'' the NCS said in a report.

Within an hour, more than 70 felt reports related to this earthquake were received from Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab through the NCS website and mobile app. These reports indicated intensities ranging from I to III on the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) Scale.

The NCS said three earthquakes had occurred within a 50 km radius of Tuesday's tremblors on November 9, 2022 (magnitude 6.3), January 24 (magnitude 5.8) and February 22 (magnitude (4.4).

''These events were also felt with slight to moderate intensity in Delhi-NCR and other neighbouring states,'' it said.

The occurrence of earthquakes in the region is mainly attributed to the tectonic settings of the Himalayas, including the Himalayan Frontal Thrust (HFT), Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) and Main Central Thrust (MCT), as well as several local faults and geological demarcated lineaments. The neighbouring states (in India) that felt the tremors fall under seismic hazard zones V and IV, the NCS said.

People in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) reported strong tremors after the second quake and rushed out of their offices and high-rise residential buildings. The Delhi Police urged them not to panic.

''We hope you all are safe. Please come out of your buildings to a safe spot, but do not panic. DO NOT USE ELEVATORS! For any emergency help, dial 112,'' it said in a post on X.

News channels aired visuals of shaking ceiling fans and TV screens. Social media was also flooded with such visuals.

In a video shared by DD News on X, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and a group of officials were seen standing in the Nirman Bhawan building complex after the tremors were felt.

The Nirman Bhawan houses offices of the health ministry and Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, among other important offices.

People also shared videos of employees of offices in Gurugram rushing downstairs after the tremors were felt.

Taking to X, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in Hindi, ''Strong earthquake tremors have also been felt in Delhi. I hope you all are safe.'' The Delhi Police said in another post an hour later, ''Thankfully, no damage to life or property was reported to us in Delhi after the earthquake tremors. Stay safe! #DelhiPoliceCares.'' Tremors were felt in Chandigarh, Jaipur and other parts of north India as well. The Police control room in Jaipur said no information had been received about any losses.

Tremors were also felt at various places in Uttarakhand, including Pauri, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Haridwar and Pithoragarh.

People ran out of their houses in panic as they felt the tremors in Kotdwar, Yamkeshwar, Gumkhal and Lansdowne too, officials said, adding that no loss of life or property was reported from anywhere in the state.

Nepal lies in one of the most active tectonic zones (seismic zone IV and V) of the world, making the country extremely vulnerable to earthquakes.

According to the US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring over 21,000.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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