A 5.5 magnitude earthquake hit a tectonic plate near Rajkot in Gujarat at 8:13 PM today, informed the National Center for Seismology (NCS). The government’s nodal agency for monitoring of seismic activity in the country said that the epicentre of the earthquake was 118 km north-northwest of Rajkot.
Thankfully, the earthquake caused no injuries, deaths or other damages.
Visuals from news agency ANI showed people gathered outside houses and apartment buildings in the Prahlad Nagar area of Ahmedabad that felt the tremors. Away from Rajkot, nearer Gujarat’s coastline, the ground beneath Kutch and Patan shook too.
The moderate-intensity quake near Rajkot struck around 85 km from Bhuj, the site of a devastating 7.7 magnitude earthquake on 26 January 2001 that had killed over 20,000 people and left more than 1.5 lakh others injured.
Less than 30 minutes after the Rajkot quake in Gujarat, a point 90 km east of Katra in Jammu and Kashmir recorded a 2.9 magnitude earthquake, according to the NCS.
The Rajkot and Katra earthquakes are the latest in a series of minor and moderate quakes to have hit parts of northern India; the most recent was a low-intensity quake (of magnitude 2.1) that struck near Gurugram in Haryana, with tremors felt in Delhi as well.
As many as 14 earthquakes have hit the national capital, or nearby regions, in the last two months, with a 4.5 magnitude event near Haryana’s Rohtak the biggest.
Experts have played down concerns these are a prelude to a large-scale seismic event.
The Delhi-NCR region has several fault lines that generate earthquakes but also feels the impact of quakes from as far away as Nepal and Afghanistan’s Hindukush Mountains.
Nevertheless, BK Bansal, the Director of the National Center for Seismology, stressed this week that it was necessary to take precautionary measures.
Other earthquakes in recent days include a 4.3 magnitude event that hit Diglipur in the Andaman and Nicobar islands at 2.17 am on Wednesday and a 3.9 magnitude quake that hit 14 km north of Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir at 8.16 am Tuesday.