Tremors shake high-rise buildings in Himachal, no loss of life reported

  • HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times, Shimla/Dharamsala
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2015 19:49 IST

Repeated tremors on Saturday morning shook high-rise buildings across the state, but no loss of life or property was reported.

The tremors in Shimla town were mild and were partially felt. However, panic gripped those present in some high-rise buildings. Himani Chatranta, a local who was on her way to a bank, said, "I was shocked as I found that the earth under my feet was moving. I had no idea about the epicenter of the quake, but soon there was a message on my mobile phone that a massive earthquake had rocked Pokhra in Nepal."

Dr Ramesh Chand, medical superintendent of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, which has a six-storey building, said, "The doctors, patients and attendants on the upper floors felt the building shake, but there was not much panic."

DD Sharma, special secretary, States Disaster Management Authority, told HT, "There has been no loss of life and property in the state. We are in touch with deputy commissioners and are seeking regular updates from them about the loss caused by the quake. Tremors rocking Nepal and parts of India were felt in Kangra and Chamba districts."

Hem Raj, who works at a private hotel in Chamba town, said, "I was on duty when the hotel building shook slightly sending shivers down my spine."

Tremors were also felt in McLeodganj and Dharamsala towns. The Kangra and Chamba region falls in seismic zone-5. The two districts are more vulnerable to a bigger quake as the 1,500-km main boundary thrust passes through the region.

The earthquake database of Kangra region reveals that 14 earthquakes with the magnitude upwards of 5 on the Richter scale have occurred in the last century, including the 1905 Kangra earthquake that led to 20,000 deaths. The earthquake measuring 7.8 had levelled the entire valley.

The region felt a series of moderate intensity earthquakes in 2012 and 2014. The epicentre of most earthquakes remained the Dhauladhar range that separates Kangra from Chamba.

Himachal Pradesh is highly susceptible to quakes. Large earthquakes have occurred in the state, the biggest being the Kangra earthquake of 1905. There were two more big quakes.

The first was near Kullu in 1906, with the magnitude 6.4, and the second was in Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in 1975, with the magnitude 6.8.

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