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Quake rocks NE, buildings damaged in Ghy
Published on 30 Dec. 2009 12:01 AM IST
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An earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale rocked India’s northeast and neighbouring Myanmar Tuesday causing damage to properties and leading to cracks developing in apartments and other concrete structures. According to the Regional Seismological Centre in Meghalaya capital Shillong, the tremor was felt at 2.32 p.m. No casualties were reported immediately. The epicentre was plotted along the India-Myanmar border, 105 km southeast of Manipur’s capital Imphal. Preliminary reports say cracks developed in apartments and concrete structures in Guwahati. “A few apartment blocks have developed cracks with interiors, including toilets and wash basins in some offices, shattered in the impact,” said Arindam Das, a television journalist in Guwahati, who has captured images of the damage caused by the quake. The tremor was also felt in Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. “People panicked and ran out of their homes and offices with buildings shaking for close to 20 seconds,” said Sharat Chandra, a journalist in Imphal. This is the sixth earthquake to have rocked the northeast since Aug 13, according to the Regional Seismological Centre in Shillong. The highest intensity tremor was Sep 21 with a 6.3 magnitude quake rocking Assam and Bhutan. There was extensive damage in Bhutan as 12 people were killed and scores of buildings collapsed. Several apartments in Guwahati also developed cracks in the Sep 21 quake. The seven northeastern states - Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur - are considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake prone belt in the world. The region experienced one of the worst earthquakes, measuring 8.7 on the Richter Scale, in 1897 that claimed the lives of over 1,600 people.

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