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Tremors jolt north India but no damage due to quake's high depth


IANS New Delhi
Tremors across north India on Wednesday, following an earthquake in the Hindu Kush region, created panic among people but its high depth averted any damage, said Met Department officials.
The earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale or "moderate", which is strong enough to cause considerable damage, occurred at the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border at 12.36 p.m. and lasted for a few seconds.
According to the Centre for Seismology of the India Meteorological Department, tremors were felt in Jammu and Kashmir, northern Rajasthan, Harayana, Punjab, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, but damage of life and property was averted due to high depth of the origin.
"Since depth of the origin of quake was 190 km, which is too high, the damage was minimised. People felt the tremors but they were not strong enough to cause damage here," Centre for Seismology Director V.K Gehlot told IANS.
He added that with high depth, the shock waves and energy decay by the time they reach the surface, however the depth also increases the 'felt area' or the areas feeling tremors.
"Deeper the depth, higher is the felt area... this is the reason that tremors were widespread, however the span of tremors were also dampened and so was the intensity as waves travelled from the point of origin.
"Luckily the origin of earthquake was area with low population density, due to which damage was minimum there too," he added.
In India, the tremors forced people to run out of their homes and offices. Delhi Metro immediately halted operations - briefly.
Panic also gripped the people in Kashmir valley, as traffic stopped at many places in Srinagar city and other places. Some vehicles seemed to wobble for a while.
In Srinagar, some reports said a flyover being built suffered damage.
In Rajashtan, people in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar, Udaipur, Bharatpur and many other cities experienced the tremors and came out of their houses and offices.
Though India was saved from damage due to proximity from the origin, Balochistan province in Pakistan however suffered damage, with at least one child reported dead and nine others injured after a couple of mud houses and a school building collapsed in the Bela town of Lasbela district.

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First Published: Jan 31 2018 | 6:52 PM IST

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