At least six persons, including four women, were killed and more than 100 injured when an earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale struck Manipur in the early hours of Monday. The government has asked people to remain alert as aftershocks can occur.
People rushed out of their beds at 4.33 am Monday as more than 200 houses, including some multi-storey buildings, collapsed. Many people had to be rescued from the rubble. Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh put the official death toll at six and said 70 people had sustained major injuries. Till 4 pm, the government said 165 houses and buildings had collapsed.
Two contingents comprising 65 NDRF personnel were flown in from Guwahati by noon and deployed in rescue operations. The state government announced a two-day general holiday, while educational institutions were declared shut for a week. A central control room in Imphal and one in each district were opened so people could call in case of an emergency.
Four districts — Imphal (East), Imphal (West), Tamenglong and Senapati — reported the maximum property damage. Cracks also appeared in several government buildings, while a church collapsed in Ukhrul, reports said.
Debamaya Mote and her granddaughter Darsha Mote were killed when their home collapsed in Imphal (East) district. It took neighbours and police two hours to retrieve their bodies from the debris. In Senapati, 17-year old Geeta Rimal died as her house collapsed.
Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) in the capital to review the situation and provide Central assistance.
“Telecom connectivity is more or less normal. Power supply to Imphal city has been disrupted and some power installations have suffered damage,” a Home Ministry release stated.
At the NCMC meeting, it was decided that the Secretary, Power, would send a team of engineers from Power Grid Corporation to Imphal to help the state government restore power. Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, would also send a special team of doctors, including orthopedics, from Delhi to Imphal.
[With ENS Delhi]