At least nine persons were killed and over 100 injured as a strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake epicentered in Manipur on Monday struck the northeastern and eastern regions, damaging buildings and sparking panic that sent people scampering out of their homes. While seven people were killed in Manipur, one each died in Bihar and West Bengal after suffering heart attacks following the earthquake that hit at around 4.30 AM with its epicenter being at Kabui Kjolen, 10km from Noney sub-division of Manipur's Tamenglong district, officials said.
The epicentre of the quake was at a depth of 17km in Tamenglong district where many buildings collapsed or developed cracks. But no casualties reported from Tamenglong. "The epicentre was near the river Barak, so there was little damage. Though cracks have been reported from many houses, so far there has been no report of any casualty," Additional Deputy Commissioner Joseph Paulin told PTI.
Of the seven dead in Manipur, three were from Imphal West district and identified as Kangujam Ibotombi (64) of Taobungkhok village, Debumaya Mote (55) under Sekmai police station and Darsha Mote (11) of Premnagar. Two other victims were from Imphal East district and identified as Dijapati (17) of Chandranath Poor in Jiribam sub-division and Moirangthem Sarat (56) of Luwangsangbam Makha Leikai under Heingang police station.
Another victim was identified as Geeta Rimal (19) of P Molding Nepali part-I village under Sapermeina police station of Manipur, police sources here said adding one person also lost life in Senapati district. About 100 people received injuries and of them 33 were in serious condition and admitted to different hospitals in Manipur, official sources said.
The state cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, decided to provide ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the family of deceased. "Damage to a few buildings, residential units and Government offices have been reported, including damage to a six storey building in Imphal," according to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Several buildings in Manipur secretariat and the landmark Ima market in Imphal developed cracks while some school structures collapsed. People were jolted out of their sleep in northeastern and eastern states including, Assam, Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand, and many of them scampered out of their homes.
Power supply to Imphal city was disrupted and some power installations have suffered damage, an official statement said after Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha held a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) this morning.