Massive earthquake jolts North India

People rushing out on the streets in Delhi-NCR after sensing tremors. Source- The Indian Express

Tajikistan's Murghab Town recorded a massive earthquake of 6.3 on the Richter Scale on Friday Night (10:31 PM IST). The tremors spread from that region shaking several parts of Northern India including Delhi-NCR, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh. Tremors were also felt in Pakistan's Islamabad, Lahore, and Peshawar region.

The National Centre for Seismology in India initially reported that the epicenter of the earthquake was Amritsar, Punjab. The depth was reported to be 10 km. However, this was an erroneous report on their part which was later clarified.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake originated at a depth of 91.6km and the epicenter was located about 35km west of the Murghab Town of Tajikistan. The area is located very near to Kashmir and hence the tremors were intense in this particular region.

As the quake originated in a distant region, the destructive effects were not observed. No damage has been reported as of now.

USGS data also shows that this earthquake originated in the Hindu Kush Mountain region which is considered to be the global hotspot of earthquakes due to a fault in the tectonic lines. 14 earthquakes of intensity greater than 5 on the Richter Scale were recorded in South-Eastern Tajikistan in the past five years or so.

AP Pandey, a seismologist at the National Centre for Seismology, stated that the collision of Indian and Eurasian plates resulted in this strong earthquake. He also added that there is a possibility of milder aftershocks. Since the source is far away, it is highly unlikely that India will be impacted.

People were seen rushing out of the streets out of terror. Soon after the situation was normalized, videos and images spread across Twitter like wildfire. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal expressed his concern and prayed for the safety of everyone.

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh also tweeted informing that there was no damage reported so far. Punjab Police and local administration are keeping a close watch on the situation, he added in his tweet.

Vice President of the National Conference, Omar Abdullah also tweeted, “the tremors in Srinagar were bad enough to force me out of the house”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was attending a live virtual interaction with the Political Science Students of the University of Chicago and Historian Dipesh Chakraborty when he felt the tremors. In a short clip, he was seen saying,” whole room is shaking.”

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