A series of earthquakes jolted Assam and most of the Northeastern states on Wednesday, causing extensive damage to buildings and forcing people to scamper out of their homes.
There were no immediate reports of deaths directly due to the tremors, but two persons ~ one each in Kamrup Metropolitan and Nagaon districts ~ died due to shock and heart attack around the time of the earthquake, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said.
According to initial reports, 10 people suffered injuries in four districts as the first quake of 6.4 magnitude struck Tezpur, the headquarters of Sonitpur district, at 7.51 am, the ASDMA said in a statement.
The impact was felt in several Northeastern states, parts of West Bengal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. The first quake 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, Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) Deputy Director Sanjay O’neil Shaw said.
Another earthquake of 3.2 magnitude hit Assam’s Nagaon district at 10.05 am. A while later, another jolt of 3.4 magnitude hit Tezpur at 10.39 am, he added. At 12.32 pm, the eighth quake of 2.9 magnitude hit Morigaon. It was followed by three more earthquakes, hitting Sonitpur district again, Shaw said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal twice to inquire about the destruction caused by the earthquake and assured him all help from the Centre.