Moderate quake shakes Jharkhand, no major damage reported
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Moderate quake shakes Jharkhand, no major damage reported

A moderate earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale hit parts of Jharkhand and Bihar on Tuesday morning.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2015 22:27 IST
Sanjoy Dey
Sanjoy Dey
Hindustan Times
A building in Deoghar developed a crack due to an earthquake on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

A moderate earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale hit parts of Jharkhand and Bihar on Tuesday morning.

Barring cracks in a few buildings in Deoghar and Dumka districts, no loss of life or major damage to property was reported from any part of the state, officials said.

“We are collecting reports from across the district. Except for reports of cracks in a few buildings, no major damage was reported,” Deoghar deputy commissioner Arava Rajkamal said.

People rushed out of their houses in Deoghar, Dumka, Dhanbad and Ranchi after the tremors were felt at 8.05am.

The epicentre of the quake was at Dillijamni village in Madhupur block of Deoghar district, around 280km northeast of Ranchi. Its depth at the epicentre was 10km below the earth’s surface, officials said.

Deoghar is famous for Baidyanath Dham temple where more than 45 lakh devotees gather during the month of Shravan. “There is no harm to the temple,” said an official.

Deoghar falls under the seismic zone-3 where the probability of earthquakes is high, experts said. Ranchi Meteorological Centre director BK Mandal said, “Though Jharkhand experienced an earthquake of low intensity, there is no surprise if major quakes occur any time in the state.”

The seismic observatory centre at the Indian School of Mines, the only one in Jharkhand, has recorded 620 tremors from January 2011 to December 2014 within 300 kilometers around Dhanbad.

“A majority of the tremors were of low to moderate intensity (1-3 magnitude on the Richter scale). That is why we do not feel them. The tremors are felt when they go above 4 magnitude,” said Rajkumar Prasad, a technical assistant at the observatory centre. “The trend shows that tremors are rising every year.”

In April this year, the Nepal earthquake had caused major damage to many buildings in the state capital. Ranchi falls in the seismic zone two, considered safer. However, an unplanned growth could cause major damage to the city even in minor earthquakes, environmentalists said.

Except ISM, Dhanbad, the state has no infrastructure to measure intensity or period of earthquakes. Even the India Meteorological Department centre in Ranchi is not equipped to provide real-time data on earthquakes.

IMD has installed two seismic observatories —in Bokaro and Sahebganj—but they provide no information to the Ranchi centre, Met officials said.

The state is yet to set up a disaster response force and depends on the national disaster response force (NDRF) or Army.

“We are expecting that a state disaster response force will be in place in next three months,” said Colonel Sanjay Srivastava, the project officer (disaster management).

First Published: Dec 15, 2015 13:39 IST