Earthquake jolts Delhi, NCR

An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale jolted Delhi and adjacent cities on Monday afternoon, forcing people to come out of their homes and offices .

The earthquake is the 19th tremor to shake the country in 2012 so far and the third one to take place in the past five days.

The tremors lasted 10 seconds with Haryana’s Bahadurgarh area as the epicentre. It was felt across Delhi and towns of Ghaziabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh at a 1:11 pm, said the MeT department.

“I was sitting on the sixth floor and I felt like I am on a swing,” said Amit Chaturvedi, a South Delhi resident.

Sonia Sharma Negi, a professional working in central Delhi said the disaster management drive held last month helped her act immediately. “I was at work sitting on a chair and suddenly felt a jerk. We immediately ran outside the office. I was lucky as my office is in the basement. But people in upper floors must have felt the jolts,” she said.

Aruna Singh, resident of Jaipur and visiting Delhi echoed similar views.“I was resting and all of a sudden the bed started shaking and I was forced to get up.”

However, some residents expressed their worry over Delhi’s unpreparedness for a massive earthquake. “Delhi is among 30 cities in the country falling in zone 4 which is highly dangerous. I was taken aback when I felt the earthquake today. If I was on the 11th floor I would have been in shock for a while. Delhi needs to take precautions to prevent major loss as the management is not ready to do so,” said Asish Sahoo, a media professional from Delhi.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has asked the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to conduct a survey to help the authorities ascertain the number of unsafe buildings in the city. The authorities will take steps to strengthen the areas with unsafe buildings on the basis of the  findings of the survey to ensure there is minimum  damage in case of a massive earthquake.

The NDMA had recently introduced a training programme in Rapid Visual Screening (RVS) for MCD engineers for assessing the safety of any building in the city during tremors.

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