By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Updated: June 15, 2020 12:20:32 am
An earthquake of magnitude of 5.3 on the Richter scale that lasted for 12-14 seconds, followed by three aftershocks, shook 12 districts of Gujarat late Sunday evening, with its epicentre near Bhachau in Kutch district, officials said.
According to the National Centre for Seismology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, the quake was recorded 10 kilometres North-Northeast of Bhachau at 8.13 pm. Tremors were felt in Morbi, Gir Somnath, Gandhinagar, Patan, Banaskantha, Porbandar, Jamnagar, Amreli, Surendranagar, Ahmedabad, Kutch and Rajkot, but no damage was reported from anywhere, the officials said.
“The epicentre of the quake is reported to be near Sikra village…, and tremors were felt in six out of 10 talukas of Kutch — Bhachau, Rapar, Bhuj, Mundra, Gandhidham and Anjar. However, no damage to life or property was reported from anywhere,” Kutch District Collector Praveena DK told The Indian Express. The collector added that she also felt table and chairs shaking in Bhuj.
As per the Institute of Seismology, three aftershocks were reported — one of magnitude 3.1 felt 25 km West-northwest from Rapar in Kutch district, another of magnitude 2.9 felt 7 km North-Northwest of Bhachau and the third one of magnitude 2.2 recorded 5 km east-southeast from Bhachau.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani immediately called up the district collectors of Rajkot, Kutch and Patan to take stock of the situation. An official statement said that the CM asked the collectors to stay alert and get details of any damage caused. The statement added that the CM instructed to make the control rooms of disaster management cells of these districts function more intensely.
In some parts of Kutch, heavy rain and power outage added to the panic created by the tremors. “We were cooking our meal on the first floor of our home amid heavy rain and power outage when we felt the tremor. I immediately realised that it was an earthquake… memories of the 2001 quake are still fresh in my mind. We immediately ran out despite heavy rain,” said Dr Rajesh Maheshwari, a paediatrician in Gandhidham town of Kutch.
The epicentre was some 25 km from the 2001 earthquake epicentre of Chobari village in Bhachau. In Rapar town, close to the epicentre of the 2001 earthquake, people rushed out of their homes.
“I was enjoying the evening breeze with my family on the terrace when we felt the tremors. We all darted down to the front yard but by that time, tremors stopped,” said Ramji Pachan, a Dalit activist in Rapar.
In Bhuj, which witnessed large-scale loss of life in the 2001, people said the tremors brought back the memory of the disaster. “I was visiting a friend’s home and we were sitting in their drawing room when sofas started shaking along with some noise. We immediately realised it was an earthquake and ran out. Though the tremors were felt for two-three seconds, it was very scary,” said Kalpesh Goswami, district government pleader of Kutch who lives in Bhuj town, district headquarters of Kutch.
The quake was felt in Morbi also, while slight tremors were also felt in Ahmedabad. “We were having our dinner when the quake struck. While I was very young in 2001, I immediately recognised it was a quake and I and my family members ran out of home,” said Ankit Zalariya, a government employee living in Morbi town.
In Rajkot, tremors were not strong but many people ran out of their homes. “My young son who was having dinner sitting on the floor told me he felt the ground shaking,” said Raju Gami, a resident of Kothariya Road of Rajkot city.
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