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5.8 on Richter, earthquake rocks Uttarakhand, tremors flet across north India

There were no immediate reports of damage to life or property. The tremors were felt strongly in Delhi and the NCR.

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An Earthquake of magnitude 5.8 shook northern India on Monday night, with tremors felt across Uttarakhand, Delhi and adjoining areas, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana. The epicentre of the earthquake was near Beron Basti Haat Road in Rudraprayag district, about 60 km north of Srinagar (Uttarakhand) and 130 km northeast of state capital Dehradun. The quake originated about 15 km below the earth’s surface.
There were no immediate reports of damage to life or property. The tremors were felt strongly in Delhi and the NCR.

“The tremors felt in Delhi seemed much more than what is expected for a 5.8-magnitude quake, which is a moderate intensity earthquake. As of now, it is difficult to say why it was felt so strongly or whether it was indeed more than expected. We are still studying the characteristics of the quake,” Vineet Gehlot of the National Centre of Seismology said.

Soon after the quake, which took place at 10.33 pm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in multiple tweets, “Spoke to officials & took stock of the situation in the wake of the earthquake felt in various parts of North India. PMO is in touch with officials in Uttarakhand, which is the epicentre of the quake. I pray for everyone’s safety & wellbeing.”

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat reached the disaster management centre at the state secretariat in Dehradun around midnight to take stock of the situation. He will hold an emergency meeting with the state Chief secretary, Disaster Management Secretary and other senior officers.

A slight damage due to the quake can upset electoral activities and poll preparations in the state, which votes on February 15. Many booths near Ukhimath in Rudraprayag district are in remote areas, several of them snow-bound.

The epicentre was not very far from Gaurikund, the base camp of Kedarnath shrine. “There were strong tremors for around 10 seconds. We came out of our homes, but thankfully there was no damage,” Rudraprayag-based farmer Bhupendra Bhandari told The Indian Express. “We spoke with our friends near Gaurikund —- they also felt the tremors, but there was no damage.”

From Ukhimath begins a steep ascent to Kedarnath. The river Mandakini had caused massive damage at Gaurikund in the June 2013 quake. The river has almost a vertical descent from Kedarnath up to Gaurikund, from where its gradient somewhat decreases.
Uttarakhand is one of the most seismically active states in India and is no stranger to earthquakes of this magnitude. The region has experienced at least eight earthquakes of 5+ on Richter Scale since 2005, but none bigger than the one that came yesterday.

Cities

Heavy rainfall in Andhra, Tamil Nadu this weekend – IMD

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New Delhi, Dec 11 : A low pressure intensifying in the Bay of Bengal is expected to bring a heavy spell of rain to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu by this weekend, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday.

“The low-pressure area over central parts of the south Bay of Bengal and adjoining equatorial Indian Oceans is likely to intensify into a deep depression during the next three days, bringing moderate to heavy rainfall in the south coastal Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu,” the IMD said.

With wind speed expected to reach 50-60 km/hour, the IMD has also issued a warning to fishermen to “not venture into the above sea areas”.

According to the Skymet Weather’s forecast, the low-pressure area is tracking in west-northwest direction towards Tamil Nadu coast. “As the system nears, we expect scattered rains to commence over coastal Tamil Nadu including Chennai around December 14,” it said.

By December 17, however, this weather system will move away towards northwest leading to a significant decrease in rain activity.

For the next 48 hours, the IMD has forecast the Chennai skies to be generally cloudy. The maximum temperature will be 31 degrees Celsius and the minimum 24 degrees Celsius.

IANS

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Tsunami alert on Pacific islands after 7.5-magnitude earthquake

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Earthquake

Noumea (New Caledonia), Dec 5: A 7.5 magnitude quake hit the coast of the Pacific island of New Caledonia, prompting warnings that tsunami waves of up to three metres can reach New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

The quake struck at a depth of about 10 kilometre at 4.18 GMT, the US Geological Survey reports. The epicentre was recorded as 168km east-south-east of Tadine, a town on France’s New Caledonia.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management though tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to the nation’s coasts even though the tsunami alert issued for coasts within 1,000km, the BBC reported.

The USGS also recorded a series of aftershocks, two of them at 5.9 magnitude.

New Caledonia has a population of about 270,000 and is part of the Pacific’s “ring of fire”, where many earthquakes occur.

IANS

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Tremors felt in Uttarakhand

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Earthquake

Dehradun, Dec 4: A quake measuring 3 on the Richter scale was felt in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand early on Tuesday forcing residents to rush out of their houses, officials said.

The tremors were felt in the Barkot region for a few seconds at around 6.20 am. Its epicentre was in Yamunanagar in Haryana, District Disaster Management officer Devendra Patwal said.

IANS

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