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Powerful Quake Leaves Several Dead and Scores Injured Across India and Bangladesh

Earthquake location  29km W of Imphal, India. Screenshot of map from USGS website. Public Domain.

Earthquake location 29km west of Imphal, Manipur, India. Screenshot of map from USGS website. 

A powerful 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit Imphal, the capital of the northeast Indian state of Manipur, in the early morning of 4 January 2015, followed by several aftershocks. The earthquake was felt strongly from many locations in India's east as well as parts of neighboring Bangladesh, which lies west of the quake’s epicenter. Neighbouring Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan were also touched by the tremor.

Many buildings in Imphal and surrounding places experienced structural damage, and mud houses were destroyed in nearby villages.

At the time of writing, at least six people were killed and 90 injured in India. In Bangladesh, so far four people were killed in earthquake-related incidents and a number of buildings were damaged.

According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake was caused by sections of the earth rubbing alongside each other at vertical, or nearly vertical, fracture points in what is known as a strike-slip fault.

The earthquake hit at 4:35 in the morning local time at a depth of 17 kilometres below the ground level. People who felt the shaking took to Twitter to update the world.

Aaman Wadud tweeted from Guwahati, about 300 kilometres from the epicentre:

Sorokhaibam Akee posted an image of a damaged building:

Amy Devich tweeted:

Facebook activated its safety check tool for Manipur earthquake.

facebooksafetycheck_big1-696x386

YouTube user Storm Chaser uploaded a video of further quake damage:

The mainstream media soon were updating:

Data Scientist K Rahul Dev Sharma stayed on the story throughout the day:

Chitra Ahanthem reported on various issues surrounding the earthquake, such as the need for donated blankets and criticism of the integrity of local structures:

Imphal’s iconic Ima Market, presumably the world’s only market where all the traders are women, has been damaged.

Crowdsourced images on the Facebook page of website Finding The Voice showed scenes of destruction. A commenter, Luwang Laiva wrote:

As of today, the safety within the premises of Ema market cannot be guaranteed… after shockwaves are likely to hit anytime soon.. I hope the authorities do the necessary asap to avoid any casualties…

When the quake hit Bangladesh, thousands of people rushed into the streets of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, about 350 kilometres from the epicentre. Most of the deaths in Bangladesh were due to panic rush. At least 29 people were taken to hospital with injuries.

Bangladeshis were tweeting about the quake.

This earthquake has raised many questions about preparedness in Bangladesh. A Daily Star report today quoting the Ministry of Relief and Disaster Management revealed that there are over 72,000 risky buildings in Dhaka city prone to earthquakes.

  • Sami Abid

    Here is an other example of choosing priorities: invest in sécurity AND improvement of building ( ferro-cement…) or making rallies AND thousand TV channel. These can wait !!!

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