By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Apr 14: A massive earthquake measuring 6.9 on Richter scale hit Myanmar and tremors were felt across the region, the US Geological survey reported.
The earth quake struck at a depth of around 140km (87 miles), north-west of Mandalay, (Second-largest city and the last royal capital of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). There was no immediate report of any casualty or major damage.
The tremor was also felt in the several parts of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and even Delhi and National Capital Region. The northeastern states are categorised under zone 5 in the country’s seismological map and are considered highly vulnerable.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Ministers of the states where tremors were felt. “PM @narendramodi spoke to CMs of Assam & Manipur regarding the earthquake in the region,” said a tweet by the Prime Ministers’ Office.
In Guwahati, some people reported cracks in buildings while there was power outage for some time in Shillong, NDTV reported.
Strong tremors lasting for about a minute was felt in Lhasa, the Tibetan capital city.
The British royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who were visiting Assam’s Kaziranga National Park also felt the quake. “We felt the tremor very strongly, but all is fine,” British Deputy High Commissioner Scott Furssedonn-Wood, who is staying in the same jungle resort as the royal couple, was quoted by AP as saying.
The royal couple will spend Wednesday night in the park and travel to neighboring Bhutan on Thursday. The earth quake occurred at intermediate depth, it took place within the Indian tectonic plate as it sub ducts beneath Eurasia, reports US Geological Survey. Such earthquakes are less likely to cause severe damage, they added.
Myanmar is an earthquake prone country. Earlier in January, an earth quake measuring 6.7 magnitude hit north-east India bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh, killing at least nine people.
As many as 75 people died when a powerful earthquake hit Myanmar near the borders with Laos and Thailand in March 2011.