Sikkim earthquake sends tremors past Bengal, Bihar, Assam; no risk of aftershocks
An earthquake measuring 5.4 magnitude hit the Sikkim-Nepal border on Monday night, the National Center for Seismology (NCS) said. Tremors were felt across eastern India, in the states of West Bengal, Assam and Bihar. Officials informed news agency PTI that there is no possibility of aftershocks--usually known to accompany earthquakes of much higher magnitudes. "Generally, aftershocks do not occur following any quake below the magnitude of six. So, in this case, there is no possibility of aftershocks," PTI quoted an NCS official as saying, when asked about the possibility of aftershocks following the earthquake.
The earthquake occurred at 8:49pm at a depth of 10km near the India-Bhutan border, PTI reported, adding that the effects were immediately felt in Sikkim's capital Gangtok and other parts of the Himalayan state. Tremors were also reported as far away as in West Bengal's Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Siliguri, Coochbehar, and Raiganj, as well as in Purnia and several other parts of Bihar, and Assam. The earthquake's epicentre was 25 km east-southeast (ESE) of Gangtok and it struck at a depth of 10km from the surface near the India-Bhutan border.
The earthquake triggered frightened people to rush out of their residences. No loss of life or property has however been reported so far, a Sikkim government official was cited as saying. After the earthquake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock and spoke to the chief ministers of Bihar, Assam and Sikkim about the situation in their respective states, people familiar with the development told HT.