Seven back- to-back earthquakes shaken Assam and some other northeastern states on Wednesday morning, causing extensive damage to buildings. The first of the shocks of 6.4 magnitude with its epicentre at 43 km west of Tezpur, the district headquarters of Sonitpur district in Assam, was felt at 7.51 am, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Deputy Director Sanjay O’neil Shaw said.
People ran out of their homes and other places in panic, obliterating social distancing and other COVID guidelines. The shock was observed in almost the entire Northeastern region and even parts of West Bengal.
It was followed in quick succession by lesser intensity tremors of 4.7, 4, and two 3.6 magnitudes at 8.03 am, 8.13 am, 8.25 am and 8.44 am.
Another earthquake of 3.2 magnitude hit the state’s Nagaon district at 10.05 am. A while later, another jolt of 3.4 magnitude hit Tezpur at 10.39 am.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and enquired about the damage caused by the quakes.
“Spoke to Assam CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal Ji regarding the earthquake in parts of the state. Assured all possible help from the Centre. I pray for the well-being of the people of Assam,” he tweeted.
Tremors were felt in the entire region, including neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and northern parts of West Bengal.
No casualty was informed, but many people suffered minor injuries while running out in fear as the first quake struck.
There were reports of widespread damage to buildings and other structures from across Assam, mostly in the central and western towns of Tezpur, Nagaon, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Dhekiajuli and Morigaon.
In West Bengal, strong tremors were felt in Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, Coochbehar and parts of Darjeeling district but no major damage was reported,local authorities said.