An earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude on Richter scale jolted Himachal Pradesh this morning triggering panic among the people and tremors were felt in Assam, Bengal and Meghalaya.
“Tremors measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale were felt at 11.41 a.m.,” Meteorological Office Director Manmohan Singh told IANS.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located in Nepal. This is an aftershock as earlier a 5.4 quake hit Guwahati in Assam and Shillong in Meghalaya at about 6.15. Tremors were felt in Kolkata too.
People rushed on to the streets after the jolt that lasted for more than few minutes and felt as far as Kohima in Nagaland. “I was sitting in my room and was working on a laptop. Suddenly I felt the tremors and I immediately got down,” said a resident of Guwahati.
Tectonic Summary of the Himalayas and Vicinity
Earthquakes in the Himalayan region is caused by the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates these earthquakes and the region is one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth.
The tectonic plate extends from the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west Himalaya Front in the north of India.
The India-Eurasia plate boundary lies within the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south.
Located roughly 200 km north of the Himalayan front, the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin with the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults.
Some of the past major earthquakes in the densely populated region include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes.
The 2005 earthquake resulted in the highest death toll for Himalaya earthquakes to date, killing over 50,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India with a magnitude of 8.6 causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.
- 2015-04-25 06:11:26 (UTC)
- 2015-04-25 11:41:26 (UTC+05:30) in your timezone
- Times in other timezones
- 29km (18mi) ESE of Lamjung, Nepal
- 53km (33mi) NNE of Bharatpur, Nepal
- 68km (42mi) ESE of Pokhara, Nepal
- 79km (49mi) NW of Kirtipur, Nepal
- 81km (50mi) NW of Kathmandu, Nepal
According to the India Meteorological Department, the depth of earthquake was 10 km and measured 6 on the Richter scale in India. The US Geological Survey said the epicentre was at Lamjung in Nepal, 75 km northwest of capital Kathmandu.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “News has come in about an Earthquake in Nepal. Several parts of India also experienced tremors.” He said that they were in the process of finding more information and “are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal”.
Reports from across north India said people scurried out of their homes and offices even as buildings shook due to the quake and the strong aftershocks.
The tremors were so strong that people feared for their lives. Some of them began to pray and tried to get as far away as possible from the buildings. Most ran to open grounds. Many of the high-rises saw people evacuate in large numbers.
“I suddenly found my chair shaking. I live on the fourth floor in an apartment. I just rushed out of my building…shouting and requesting people not to use the lift,” said Ravindra Kumar, a resident at Sirsi road in Jaipur.
There was panic in Nepal which bore the brunt of the massive temblor. Besides capital Kathmandu and Besisahar in Lamjung, the cities which were affected include Bharatpur, Pokhara and Kirtipur.