Strong earthquake hits Uttarakhand, tremors felt in New Delhi

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An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 hit Uttarakhand on Monday, according to the United States Geological Survey.

Tremors were felt in parts of north India, including New Delhi, according to Reuters.

NDTV reported the earthquake was of 5.8 magnitude, which hit Uttarkhand on Monday night. Big tremors were felt in Delhi and neighboring Gurgaon, Punjab and other parts of north India.

The earthquake struck at 10.33 pm and had its epicenter in Ukimath in Rudraprayag district of the hill state, where assembly elections are scheduled to be held next week. Scientists said the quake was shallow, with a depth of just 7 km.

Tremors were reported as far away as Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.

IANS reported the last major quake in the region was a 4.2 tremor epicentered in Haryana on November 17 last year, while nearly 10 people were killed in a 6.8 Richter scale quake on the India-Myanmar border on January 4, 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation of the earthquake and prayed for everyone’s safety and well-being.

“Spoke to officials and took stock of the situation in the wake of the earthquake felt in various parts of North India,” he said.

The PMO is in touch with officials in Uttarakhand, which is the epicenter of the quake.

“I pray for everyone’s safety & well-being,” Modi said on his official Twitter account.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought a detailed report, while the National Disaster Response Force has been put on high alert.

“The MHA is closely monitoring the situation in earthquake hit Uttarakhand and other north Indian states where the tremors have been felt,” he said.

“The NDRF teams have been rushed from Ghaziabad to Uttarakhand to conduct rescue and relief operations, if the situation arises,” said official Twitter account of Home Minister.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted saying: “Earthquake in Delhi NCR. I pray for everyone’s safety.”

Private forecaster Skymet Weather Services Pvt. Ltd Director Mahesh Palawat told IANS that aftershocks could be expected.

“Aftershocks may recur tomorrow (Tuesday) as well, but will be of very low intensity. These aftershocks will be strong in the areas close to the epicentre in Uttarakhand.

Mild aftershocks may be felt tonight as well,” he added.

(Post was updated on Feb. 6, 2017)

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