Earthquake of magnitude 5.4 hits Sikkim; PM takes stock of situation

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(Eds: Correcting slug) Gangtok/Kolkata/Patna, Apr 5 (PTI) An earthquake of 5.4 magnitude hit Sikkim on Monday night, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said, with tremors being also felt in the eastern states of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.

The quake occurred at 8.49 pm at a depth of 10 km near the India-Bhutan border.

Tremors were felt in Gangtok and other parts of the Himalayan state, he said.

People got frightened and rushed out of their houses but no loss of life or property has been reported so far in Sikkim, a state government official said.

Tremors were also felt in Darjeeling, Dhupguri (Jalpaiguri), Siliguri, Coochbehar, Raiganj (Uttar Dinajpur) in West Bengal, and Purnia and several other parts of Bihar, the NCS official said.

Asked whether there is any possibility of aftershocks, the official said, 'Generally, aftershocks do not occur following any quake below the magnitude of six. So, in this case, there is no possibility of aftershocks.' Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the chief ministers of Bihar, Assam and Sikkim about the situation in their respective states in the aftermath of the earthquake, government sources said.

'PM Narendra Modi is taking stock of the damage due to the earthquake. He is speaking to chief ministers of all 4 affected states and has already spoken to the CMs of Bihar, Assam and Sikkim,' the sources said.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar informed the prime minister that the state's Disaster Management Department and district magistrates concerned have been put on alert, a communication issued by the CMO said.

They have been asked to make a quick assessment of the damage caused by the tremors, if any, and take remedial measures at the earliest, Kumar said.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said that he called up Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and enquired about her well-being as she is in Siliguri.

'Had telephone conversation @MamataOfficial to enquire her well-being as Earthquake Tremors Felt In North Bengal.

Hon'ble CM is at Siliguri presently. Relieved to learn all well at her end,' he tweeted.

The Himalayas are prone to earthquakes and are known for high-seismic activity. PTI KDK SCH NAC KR PR RT ACD ACD