An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was reported in western Assam, neighboring Meghalaya, and North Bengal on Wednesday, officials said.
According to the National Centre for Seismology (NCS), the tremors were felt in Goalpara in western Assam at 8.46 a.m. They occurred at a depth of 14 km from the surface and were also felt in neighboring Bangladesh.
The epicenter falls along the Brahmaputra River, which is already flowing at flood situations in many parts of Assam, including the Goalpara district. However, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has put the epicenter slightly south near Lakhipur along the Assam-Meghalaya border.
As per the disaster management officials in Guwahati, so far there are no reports of any injury to anyone or damage to the properties and other assets.
People in the Goalpara and Garo Hills districts of northeastern Meghalaya ran out of their homes in panic.
Successive earthquakes in the mountainous northeastern states, especially in Assam, Mizoram, and Manipur, have made the authorities worry.
A powerful 6.4 magnitude quake had shaken several districts of Assam and adjoining northeastern states and Bhutan on April 28 causing damages to many buildings, roads, and other properties.
Seismologists consider the mountainous northeastern region as the sixth most earthquake-prone belt in the world. In 1950, an earthquake measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale had altered the course of the mighty Brahmaputra river, which passes by the Guwahati city.
Assam sits right in the middle of the Very High Damage Risk Zone or Zone 5 of the earthquake zoning map of India.
As per forecasts, the moist winds from the Bay of Bengal have continued to affect northeast India for the past two weeks. The wet weather conditions are likely to intensify from July 9 onwards with the revival of monsoon and could aggravate the flood situation unfolding in parts of Assam. An earthquake in this region is, therefore, a bigger concern for the residents and authorities.
(With IANS inputs)