An earthquake initially believed to have measured 6.6 on the Richter scale has rocked New Delhi. The quake struck at 11.30 pm local time and was reportedly felt for several seconds. It was later downgraded to 4.2, with the Meteorological Department saying the epicentre's closeness to Delhi made it feel stronger.
Several TV stations reported that a temblor had hit the capital and surrounding areas, but there have been no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
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‘Delhi was in for double shock Wednesday. The day started with a terror attack, and when the capital was almost asleep it was jolted by an earthquake.
According to Ajit Tyagi , Director General of Meteorology, the epicentre of the quake was located at Sonipath in neighbouring Haryana state. He assured the public that there’s no chance of any aftershocks.
The tremor shook not only Delhi, but the adjoining areas of Noida, Gaziabad and Faridabad, the regions that constitute the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi. The tremor lasted for 10 seconds.
People in many areas of the capital came out of their houses in fear, and even an hour later, residents here can be seen loitering around on the streets fearing an aftershock.
Its been a bad day for the nation’s capital.'
The tremor came the same day as Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran gave a written reply in parliament that Delhi is among 30 important cities in India that fall into a high risk seismic zone.
‘While Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh fall under zone IV (high risk), Srinagar comes under zone V (very high risk), he said. As per seismic map of India prepared by Bureau of Indian Standards 58.6 per cent areas of the country fall into earthquake zone V (very high risk), IV (high risk) and III (moderate risk),’ Ramachandran wrote.
‘Government has also sent advisories to state governments and Union Territory Administrations from time to time to take up various disaster mitigation and preparedness measures by way of adoption of modern building bye-laws to ensure seismic resistant construction,’ the minister was quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying.
The Economic Times reported: 'People in many areas as well as in the neighbouring town of Faridabad in Haryana ran out of their homes as the furniture started shaking with a rattle.'