An earthquake measuring 6.3 on the Richter Scale struck Tajikistan on late Friday night. Strong tremors were felt across north India in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, the Delhi-NCR and Uttarakhand.
As per the India Metrological Department (IMD), the epicentre of the earthquake was in Tajikistan.
The IMD said the earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale. It occurred at 10.31 pm (IST) and its coordinates were 38.00 N and 73.58 E. The depth of this earthquake was 74 km.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Earthquake tremors felt in Delhi. Praying for everyone’s safety.”
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a tweet said the tremours forced him to move out of his house as the “ground was shaking”.
“Not since the earthquake of 2005 have the tremors in Srinagar been bad enough to force me out of the house. I grabbed a blanket and ran. I didn’t remember to take my phone and so was unable to tweet ‘earthquake’ while the damn ground was shaking,” he tweeted.
People in various parts of north India came out of their homes following the tremors to seek safety. Cracks in the walls of some houses have been reported in Jammu and Kashmir.
However, so far no major damage or loss of life has been reported anywhere.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said no damage has been reported in the state so far and the police and local administration are keeping a watch.
“No reports of any damage so far in Amritsar or other parts of Punjab following the earthquake. Top officials of Punjab Police and local administration are keeping a close watch on the situation. Praying for everyone’s safety,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.
In Himachal Pradesh, strong earthquake tremors were felt in Una, Chamba, Dalhousie, Kullu, Shimla and other areas. The tremors were also felt in Haryana, parts of Rajasthan and as far as Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.
Besides these, tremors were also felt in several cities in Pakistan like Islamabad, lahore, parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Earlier this week, the central government informed Parliament that as many as 965 earthquakes measuring 3 and more on the Richter Scale were recorded in the Delhi-NCR alone in 2020.
Last year, the Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, one of India’s leading research institutes, said the frequent earthquakes reported in the Delhi-NCR of late are due to the release of strain energy which has been accumulated as a result of northward movement of the Indian tectonic plate and its collision with the Eurasian plate through the fault or weak zones.
It added that historical earthquake catalogue shows that there were strong earthquakes of 6.5 magnitude at Delhi in 1720; 6.8 at Mathura in 1803; 5.5 near Mathura in 1842; 6.7 near Bulandshahar in 1956; 6 near Faridabad in 1960 and 5.8 near Moradabad in 1966 in the Delhi-NCR.