GUWAHATI: A powerful earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rattled Assam and other northeastern states at 7.51 a.m. on Wednesday. The epicentre of the tremor is at Hugrajuli in Sonitpur district. It lies in the seismically very active Kopili Fault closer to the Himalayan Frontal thrust falling in the highest seismic hazard zone V associated with collisional tectonic where Indian plate subducts beneath the Eurasian Plate.
The tremor, the strongest in the past 60 years after July 29, 1960, was followed by 11 aftershocks that were recorded in different regions. The tremor in 1960 recorded 6 on the Richter scale.
According to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), tremors were also felt in North Bengal and other northeastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan.
According to sources in the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), there are reports of damage to buildings, roads and some other infrastructures in different parts of Guwahati, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Morigaon and their adjoining areas.
ASDMA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) G. D. Tripathi said that though no human casualty has been reported, yet a few persons were injured.
Official sources said that several apartments, buildings, hotels, brides, temples, paddy fields etc., developed cracks. Electricity and gas supply has been disrupted in some places.
Affected people in Guwahati deserted their apartments and took shelter in safer areas. There are reports of cracks in walls at Boragaon and Beltola Survey; building cracks at Jatia in Kahilipara, Ulubari, Excel Care Hospital, Taj Vivanta, Shopping Point building etc., in Guwahati.
While a building tilted at Faujdari Patti at Pathmill Chariali in Nagaon Sadar, minor cracks appeared in a few walls at Kenduguri village in Bihpuria.
Minor cracks were also seen at the 33/11 KV sub-station at Barama. Damage to buildings was also reported in Nalbari.
A number of temples and buildings of other religious places, including that of Mahamritunjay Mandir and Barduwa Xatra in Nagaon, Umananda Temple in Guwahati also developed cracks. There was a landslide on the Bhairabkunda Hills in Udalguri district.
Railway lines in northern and western Assam developed some problems due to the tremor even as the engineers and technical personnel of the Northeast Frontier Railways quickly restored the lines.
State Health and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a tweet said: "Water was seeping out from a paddy field in the Narayanpur area of Dhekiajuli."
According to official data, ten persons – six in Darrang, two in Sonitpur and one each in Kamrup (M) and Nagaon – were injured by the tremor. Though no casualty was reported by the tremor, one person each in Kamrup (M) and Nagaon died due to the shock.
In 1950, an earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale had altered the course of the Brahmaputra.
Also Read: What to Do During an Earthquake and After It