The people in the North Eastern region of India were jolted from their sleep in early morning today when the earth shook and trembled. The quake with its epicenter at Noney, about 33 kms from the state capital of Manipur along National Highway 37 hit at 04:35 local time. Strong tremors have been felt across the entire region, even as far as Bangladesh where three people were reported killed. According to State Meteorological Department the earthquake measured 6.8 magnitude on the Richter scale and struck at a depth of 17km (about 10 miles). The tremor damaged walls and a newly-built six-storey building in Imphal collapsed police said. Other buildings were also reported to have been damaged.
The region has a history of powerful earthquakes caused by the northward collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. They are moving towards each other at a rate of 4-5cm per year. At the time of filing this report, eight persons were confirmed to have been killed in the disaster while more than fifty persons were hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the quake. Damage report culled from the districts also revealed a worrying pattern with most of the damaged structures and buildings having constructed by the state government. Prominent amongst the structures damaged were Ima Keithel Market No. 1 & 2 where the cracked pillars revealed hollow plastic pipes buried inside them, cracks at Minuthong Bridge, Massive cracks at the ground floor wall at BSNL building near Old Secretariat, pillars of Yairipok Bazar shed cracked, Thoubal College building, Thoubal Wangma Taba Manishang Primary School,were crumbled in the quake. Cracks in the pillar of New Market at Bishnupur Bazar, clock tower inside Govt. Polytechnic completely crumbled, retaining wall of Mela Ground of Lamboikhongnangkhong completely collapsed, YPA Hall in New Lamka partially injured, cracks at Nungba SDPO’s office, Saikul market shed damaged, mud walls of 26 houses collapsed at Charbung village under Sadar Hills, along with reports of damaged powerlines and electric poles. Even the Buildings of Manipur Press Club were also crack in the tremor.
The casualty list is expected to rise over the next few days while allegation of under preparedness and public outcry over government inaction is gaining momentum.
- Published in News