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Quake: Delhi govt activates disaster management teams

earth quake

New Delhi : Delhi government today activated its disaster management teams soon after strong tremors jolted the national capital making people scurry for cover and bringing the metro to a halt.

“Please stay calm & do not panic. Disaster management teams have been activated,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.

Meanwhile, a senior metro official said that metro services have resumed although trains are running at a very slow pace.

“Metro services were put on hold from 2.40 PM to 2.55 PM in view of the earthquake. Thereafter, train services were brought to normal routine after ensuring safety check of the structures,” the official said.

The earthquake epicentred in the Hindukush mountain range in Afghanistan struck at around 2.40 PM, sending ripples across several states like Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, the National Capital Region (NCR), Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.

Soon after, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he has asked for an urgent assessment of the situation in the wake of the quake and offered assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Heard about strong earthquake in Afghanistan-Pakistan region whose tremors have been felt in parts of India. I pray for everyone’s safety,” the PM said on Twitter.

“I have asked for an urgent assessment and we stand ready for assistance where required, including Afghanistan & Pakistan,” he said.

Two Army personnel were injured when their bunker collapsed under the impact of the tremor at Sopore, 55 kms from Srinagar, in north Kashmir Baramulla district, officials said.

They said the bunker collapsed inside the Ganjoo house where an army unit is camping, resulting in injuries to two soldiers who were evacuated to hospital.

The flyover at Jehangir Chowk in the heart of Srinagar also developed crack forcing the authorities to suspend traffic over it, the officials said.

The tremors also caused disruption in telecom services for a while, reports from Chandigarh said.

Cots, chairs, ceiling fans, lanterns and other objects swayed due to the impact.

“I was sitting on a chair and suddenly the ground started shaking and I almost fell down,” said Ritu Nagra, a resident of Amritsar.

“I thought I was unwell as suddenly I felt my head spinning and my heart beat going up,” said Sudhir Gupta, a resident of Chandigarh.

Many people said that their cellphones stopped functioning immediately after the tremors.

Similar reports were received from across Punjab including Amritsar, Phagwara, Jalandhar, Patiala, Faridkot, Gurdaspur, Ludhiana and Mohali.

According to residents, animals and birds, especially dogs started behaving abnormally.

The quake reminded of the horror of the masive temblor that struck India-Pakistan region on October 8, 2005. Over 1,400 people were killed in India. Baramulla district was the worst hit. Almost all the structures were flattened in the frontier Tehsil of Uri.

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