People spend sleepless night as 18 aftershocks rock Assam
People spent a sleepless night as a series of aftershocks continued to shake Assam, following the strong 6.4 magnitude earthquake causing extensive damage. After the first quake of 6.4 magnitudes struck Tezpur at 7:51 am on Wednesday, a total of 18 aftershocks hit the district and its nearby areas on both sides of the Brahmaputra in central Assam, an official said on Thursday morning.
Eight quakes have jolted the state since Wednesday night
A total of eight quakes jolted the state since Wednesday night and all originated in and around Tezpur, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said in its bulletin. The strongest one was of 4.6 magnitudes that hit at 1:20 am, forcing the people to run out of their homes in panic. Strong tremors were felt in several parts of northeast India and north Bengal.
No immediate report of any injury due to aftershocks
The other tremors were 2.8, 2.6, 2.9, 2.3, 2.7, 2.7, and 2.8 in magnitude, hitting the state at 9:38 pm, 12:24 am, 1:10 am, 1:41 am, 1:52 am, 2:38 am and 7:13 am, the NCS said. There was no immediate report of any damage to any structure, or injury to the people due to these aftershocks.
PM Modi assured help from the central government
Severe damage to buildings and roads was reported from across Assam, following the first earthquake, tremors of which were felt across the Northeast, parts of West Bengal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured all possible help from the central government. "I pray for the well-being of the people of Assam," the PM tweeted.
Extensive damage was reported in central and western towns
There were reports of extensive damage to buildings and other structures from across Assam, mostly in the central and western towns of Tezpur, Nagaon, Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Dhekiajuli, and Morigaon. "Cracks have been developed in many private and public buildings," the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) said. Several roads in the region developed wide cracks, affecting traffic movement, officials said.
Several religious structures developed cracks
Many religious structures, including the Maha Mrityunjaya Temple in Nagaon and several mosques, developed cracks. In many areas, fissures were seen in fields with water oozing out, officials said. The Taj Vivanta hotel in Guwahati "sustained minimal and superficial damage," but there was no injury to any employee or guest, a hotel spokesperson said in a statement.
Healthcare facilities hampered amid the surge in COVID-19 cases
Healthcare facilities such as Dispur Hospital, Apollo Clinic, Down Town Hospital, and Excelcare Hospital also saw the 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 houses, apartment buildings, and shopping malls across the state also developed cracks. Many vehicles were damaged after concrete blocks fell on them.
The state disaster management authority launched helplines to help people
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged everyone to stay alert and said that he is taking updates from all the districts. The state disaster management authority launched helplines -- 1070, 1077, 1079 -- to help people report incidents regarding the quake, and seek relief.