News Massive earthquake strikes India amid COVID-19 crisis

Massive earthquake strikes India amid COVID-19 crisis

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An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 has struck India’s northeastern state of Assam, damaging some buildings, with state authorities checking for any casualties.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 34 kilometres with its epicentre near Dhekiajuli town, 140 kilometres north of Assam’s main city, Guwahati.

Earlier the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) put the quake magnitude at 6.2.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal issued a warning to “stay alert”.

“Big earthquake hits Assam. I pray for the well-being of all and urge everyone to stay alert. Taking updates from all districts,” Mr Sonowal said.

Residents said there were cracks on the wall in some houses and on floors.

People stood outside on the street, anxious about fresh tremors.

“Never seen such huge vibrations in my life,” said Jyotishman Deka, a 20-year-old engineering student.

Strong tremors were repeatedly felt in several north eastern parts of India and neighbouring Bhutan, forcing hundreds of people to run out of their homes, according to a Reuters witness.

India’s National Disaster Management Agency was assessing reports of destruction and casualties after the quake, said an official at the agency who asked to remain unidentified.

Meanwhile, the country has passed a grim milestone with more than 200,000 deaths recorded as India struggles to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

-AAP