Earthquake hits Arunachal, Assam

West Kameng
Lower Subansiri

ITANAGAR, 28 Apr: An earthquake of 6.4 magnitude, followed by a series of aftershocks jolted Arunachal Pradesh and neighbouring Assam this morning, causing extensive damage to buildings and forcing people to run out of their homes.

There were no reports of deaths so far from anywhere in Arunachal, but two persons received minor injuries in Tawang due to the collapse of a house, said state’s Disaster Management Director Atul Tayeng.

As per the preliminary report received from Tawang DDMO, Tayeng said, seven houses were completely damaged and 15 partially.

In West Kameng, several private buildings, hotels and the Bhalukpong ADC’s office building developed cracks. Minor cracks were also witnessed in many places, while the quake triggered landslides along the BCT road from Bhalukpong and Tippi. Landslides and stone falling blocked the road in between Membachur and Gorbow village, he said, adding that a control room has been activated.

In Lower Subansiri, there were no reports of major damages, except for a minor damage caused to electric pole(s) in Pistana.

The tremors were also felt in all other districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Tayeng said, adding that the situation is still being monitored.

The Disaster Management secretary has directed the DCs to take stock of the situation and submit damage reports immediately.

Tayeng said the department is also in liaison with the Central Water Commission, Itanagar and IMD, Guwahati for daily weather forecast and flood warnings.

Further, State Emergency Operation Centre (9436074396, 8257891310) and District Emergency Operation Centre (1077) are also active 24×7, he added.

Tayeng said the disaster management department on 16 April issued a detailed guideline to all the DCs and HoDs to tackle any disaster situation in the state.

Recently, the department conducted a training of 1,280 community volunteers from all over the state on the basics of disaster response and management during earthquakes.

The services of these volunteers will be utilized in the districts during disasters and also for Covid-19 management, if required, he said.

PTI Adds: In Guwahati, the chief minister’s block at the ‘Janata Bhawan’ complex, the state secretariat, witnessed some damage.

The luxury Taj Vivanta hotel in Guwahati also witnessed massive damage with several glass panes, ceilings and walls falling apart, but there was no injury to any employees or guests, hotel spokesperson Indranee Phukan told PTI.

Healthcare facilities such as Dispur Hospital, Apollo Clinic, Down Town Hospital and Excelcare Hospital also saw damage, hampering services amid the surge in Covid-19 cases.

A multi-storied building in Nagaon tilted on the adjacent structure, triggering panic.

Dozens of homes, apartment buildings and shopping malls across the state also developed cracks. Many vehicles were damaged after concrete blocks fell on them due to the jolts.

Several roads in the region developed wide cracks, affecting traffic. Besides, in many areas fissures were seen in fields with water oozing out, officials said.

The state disaster management authority launched helplines — 1070, 1077, 1079 — to help people report incidents regarding the quake, and seek relief.

Tremors were also felt in Manipur, including state capital Imphal, in large parts of Bangladesh and Bhutan.