Sunday, January 3, 2016

Five killed, over 50 injured as strong quake hits North-East

IMPHAL: At least five persons were killed and over 50 injured as a strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake with epicentre in Manipur Monday hit the north-eastern region, causing damage to many buildings and spreading panic.

Manipur bore the brunt of the temblor which struck at 4.35 am with its epicentre at Tamenglong district at a depth of 17 km below the ground.

"So far, five deaths and 33 injuries have been reported from Imphal. Damage to a few buildings, residential units and Government offices have been reported, including damage to a six storey building in Imphal," according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Jolted from their sleep, people ran out of their houses in panic. Many buildings collapsed in Tamenglong while several others in Imphal, including the market complex, developed cracks, sources said. Electricity connection was cut off in the state soon after the quake.

A girl was killed in a building collapse at Tamenglong district, while another person died at Taobungkhok village in Imphal West district, police said.

Nearly 20 persons were injured in Guwahati and other areas in Assam due to the earthquake, Assam Commissioner and Secretary (Disaster Management) Pramod Kumar Tiwari told reporters.

Officials said at least 30 buildings have developed cracks.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who is in Assam, and asked him to oversee the situation arising due to the earthquake.

The PM also spoke to Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and other chief ministers in the region to take stock of the situation.

"MHA is actively monitoring the situation after the earthquake in the North East region," the Home Minister said.

Two National Disaster Response Force teams were air lifted from Guwahati to Imphal.

The NDMA said it was co-ordinating with the state governments, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Defence, NDRF, Ministry of Telecom and other concerned Government departments and agencies for search & rescue and relief.

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