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6 killed, over 90 injured as strong quake hits the North-East


Imphal/Guwahati : At least six people were killed and over 90 injured as a strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake epicentred in Manipur today hit the northeastern region, causing damage to buildings and triggering panic.

Manipur bore the brunt of the temblor which struck at 4.35 AM, jolting the people out of their sleep.  Many buildings collapsed or developed cracks in Tamenglong, where the earthquake was epicetred at a depth of 17 km. All six deaths were in the state while 70  people were injured.

Army and Air Force have joined the relief operations and two teams of National Disaster Response Force have been rushed to Imphal while one was being sent to Assam where at least 20 people were injured.

Of the six deaths in Manipur, three were killed in Imphal West district, one at Jiribam in Imphal East district and two in Senapati districts, officilas said.

“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).

Power supply to Imphal city has been disrupted and some power installations have suffered damage, an official statement said after Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha held a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) this morning.

Several building in Imphal, including the market complex, and roads developed cracks while walls of some school buildings have collapsed, officils 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 PTI. 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.

Chief Minister Ibobi Singh said that they were trying to assess the extent of the damage. “The Prime Minister and Home Minister have assured all possible help,” he said.

“MHA is actively monitoring the situation after the earthquake in the North East region,” Rajnath Singh said.

Army units in Manipur were providing all necessary medical assistance to the injured, defence officials said.

C17 Globemaster & IL76 plane had been kept on standby at the Hindon airbase to respond to any further relief operations as and when needed.

An NDRF team is being sent to Silchar, Assam. A team of engineers from Power Grid Corporation wil be sent to Imphal to assist the state government in restoration of power.

A special team of doctors from Delhi including orthopedics, will be sent to Imphal.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in Guwahati that the Centre will provide all necessary help and support to Manipur and other affected states.

Singh said he has spoken to Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, who will reach Impahal from Arunachal Pradesh to monitor the situation.

People ran out of their homes looking for safe places in Mizoram capital Aizwal and the quake was also felt in other parts of the state. Lalchuailova, a resident of Aizawl, said that it was the strongest earthquake he had ever experienced during his 50 years.

A 14-year-old boy was injured in Mizoram while trying to find a safe place during the earthquake. He was rushed to the Emergency department of the Aizawl Civil Hospital where he was discharged after being treated, hospital officials said.

Nagaland State Disaster Management Agency said that strong tremors were felt across the state, but there were no reports of any damage.

The official residence of the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Cachar district, which is near the epicentre at Tamenglong in Manipur, was damaged.

The Fire Station building in Cachar along with many other installations in the district also developed cracks

A report from Agartala said the tremor was felt across Tripura today, but there was no report of any casualty or damage to property so far, Programme officer of the state disaster management, Sarat Das said.

Earthquake was also felt in several parts of Jharkhand with people rushing out from homes in Dumka.

People in Ranchi, Giridih, Chatra, Lohardaga districts also experienced mild tremors, officials said.

According to the Regional Seismological Centre, the earthquake is one of the biggest in recent times and was felt in the entire north-east region.

The NDMA earlier 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.

NDMA spoke to the control room/relief commissioners of all the states in the North-East- Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Nagaland as well as West Bengal

All states in the north-east are categorized under zone V in the country’s Seismological map and considered to be highly vulnerable.

The NCMC meeting was attended by Secretary (Power), Secretary (Telecom), Member, NDMA and DG (Indian Meteorological Department).

The representatives of Ministries Home and Defence also participated in the meeting. Chief Secretary, Manipur participated through the video link.

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