Tremor jolts northeast, third quake in three weeks

Guwahati, Aug 31 ( An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale shook India’s northeast Monday, triggering panic among residents in the region that experienced the third tremor this month, officials said.

An official at the regional seismological centre in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya, said the tremor was felt at 12.58 a.m. Monday and had its epicentre at the tri-junction of the borders of the Indian states of Manipur and Nagaland with neighbouring Myanmar.

The quake shook houses and other structures in Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura, besides being felt in Myanmar as well.

People ran out of their homes with the tremor lasting for about 12 to 15 seconds.

“There has been no immediate report of damage caused by the quake,” an official said.

This is the third tremor to have jolted the region so far this month – an earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale took place Aug 19, while another measuring 5.6 shook the region Aug 11.

“Our study shows that a big earthquake is due in this region within a short time,” said Surjya Kanta Sarmah, a professor of geophysics at the Guwahati University in Assam.

The seven northeastern states — Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, considered by seismologists as the sixth major earthquake prone belt in the world, experienced India’s worst earthquake, measuring 8.7 on the Richter scale, in 1897, killing 1,600 people.