Another tremor jolts northeast

Another tremor jolts northeast

A man shows the crack on a wall of an apartment follwing an earthquake in Guwahati on Monday. PTI

The death toll in Monday's tremor in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan rose to 11, officials said. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake rocked parts of India's northeast at 1.08 a.m. Tuesday with the epicentre located along Myanmar.

The tremor was experienced in the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur, besides Myanmar.

This is the second quake to have rocked the region in less than 12 hours -- after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake at 2.23 p.m. on Monday rocked Bhutan and India's northeast.

"There are no immediate reports of any damage to lives and properties in Tuesday's earthquake, although people panicked and ran out of their homes with Monday's high intensity quake still fresh in their minds," said a disaster management official here.
Bhutanese officials added that the death toll in Monday's earthquake in Bhutan had gone up to 11 with an injured victim succumbing overnight.

"The death count is now 11 and several others are injured. We are assessing the extent of damage and compiling reports from the ground to know more about any more casualties," U. Tenzing, an official of Bhutan's disaster management department, said from Thimphu by telephone.

There were three Indians among those killed in Bhutan - they were hit by falling boulders in the eastern district of Samdrup Jongkhar and their bodies have been handed over to Indian authorities in the northeastern state of Assam.

Eight people died after buildings collapsed in two regions east of capital Thimphu, Tenzing said. "Rescue teams are working overtime to assess the damage and look for people trapped or injured," the Bhutanese official said.

The quake sent boulders down hillsides in eastern Bhutan, blocking roads to remote, hilly regions. Homes and monasteries were also damaged.

"Some of the monasteries were damaged and monks and other people simply fled the worship places out of fear," said T. Dorji, a resident of Trashigang district in eastern Bhutan.

"There are reports of landslides in some areas and power and telecommunications networks have been disrupted in eastern districts of Bhutan," Bhutan's Home Minister Lyonpo Minjur Dorji said.

Strong tremors lasting up to 20 seconds Monday were experienced Guwahati, the main city of Assam, where nervous residents ran into the streets.

Cracks appeared in several buildings in the city but there was no serious damage, witnesses said.

Tuesday's tremor is the sixth since Aug 11 to have hit the northeastern region.

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