An earthquake scaling 6.3 on the Richter Scale hit Tajikistan on late Friday night. Strong tremblings were felt over north India in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, the Delhi-NCR, and Uttarakhand. As per the India Metrological Department (IMD), the epicenter of the earthquake was in Tajikistan.
The IMD stated the earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale. It happened at 10.31 pm (IST) and its coordinates were 38.00 N and 73.58 E. The intensity of this earthquake was 74 km. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Earthquake tremors felt in Delhi. Praying for everyone’s safety.”
Earthquake tremors felt in Delhi. Praying for everyone's safety. https://t.co/8fU8TGQLiE
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 12, 2021
Ex-Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in a tweet said the tremours drove him to move out of his house as the “ground was shaking”.”Not since the earthquake of 2005 have the tremors in Srinagar been bad enough to force me out of the house. I grabbed a blanket and ran. I didn’t remember to take my phone and so was unable tweet ‘earthquake’ while the damn ground was shaking,” he tweeted.
Not since the earthquake of 2005 have the tremors in Srinagar been bad enough to force me out of the house. I grabbed a blanket & ran. I didn’t remember to take my phone & so was unable to tweet “earthquake” while the damn ground was shaking.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) February 12, 2021
People in different parts of north India came out of their houses following the tremors to seek protection. Cracks in the walls of some houses have been recorded in Jammu and Kashmir. However, no significant damage or loss of life has been reported anywhere. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said no loss has been reported in the state so far and the police and local authorities are holding a vigil.
“No reports of any damage so far in Amritsar or other parts of Punjab following the earthquake. Top officials of Punjab Police and local administration are keeping a close watch on the situation. Praying for everyone’s safety,” Amarinder Singh tweeted.
In Himachal Pradesh, powerful earthquake tremors were felt in Una, Chamba, Dalhousie, Kullu, Shimla, and other areas. The shaking were also felt in Haryana, parts of Rajasthan, and as far as Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. Besides these, tremors were also felt in certain cities in Pakistan like Islamabad, Lahore, parts of Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Recently the central government notified Parliament that as many as 965 earthquakes measuring 3 and more on the Richter Scale were recorded in the Delhi-NCR alone in 2020.
Last year, the Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, one of India’s leading research institutes, said the numerous earthquakes recorded in the Delhi-NCR of late are due to the discharge of strain energy which has been compiled as a result of the northward movement of the Indian tectonic plate and it’s colliding with the Eurasian plate through the fault or weak zones. It added that the historical earthquake catalog points that there were strong earthquakes of 6.5 magnitudes at Delhi in 1720; 6.8 at Mathura in 1803; 5.5 near Mathura in 1842; 6.7 near Bulandshahar in 1956; 6 near Faridabad in 1960 and 5.8 near Moradabad in 1966 in the Delhi-NCR.