IMPHAL, January 4: The public of the State awoke panic stricken from their slumber at around 4.35 am today. An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter’s Scale shook and damaged buildings and other structures leaving six dead and over 69 injured.
According to experts, the epicenter of the quake is located around Nagaching area which is situated 10 kilometers north of Noney Bazar and comes under Tamenglong district. The said area is approximately 40 kilometers west from Imphal city. The earthquake is recorded as the strongest one to hit the State since 1957 which measured 7.3 on the Richter scale. After a gap of 59 years, this quake hit the State causing considerable destruction to public and private property, loss of lives and injury.
Many structures in the city area and greater Imphal area were partially or completely damaged. According to a quake report released by the government , Imphal West area suffered the major brunt. Two structures of the Ima Keithels, number 2 and 3 which were constructed by the Simplex company sustained major damages, as the pillars caved down and multiple cracks appeared on the ceiling. The market which is thronged by women vendors from early as 3 am ran helter-skelter as the quake hit. The Ima market structure was later cordoned off as authorities announced it hazardous. Vehicular movement along the Minuthong bridge was halted for some hours in the morning as cracks emerged on the sides, but later the bridge was deemed safe for plying. Boundary wall of the Loitang Khunou Spinning Mill collapsed. Among private residences, the worst hit two are of one Moirangthem Gopal Singh of Keisampat Leimajam Leikai and of RK Lansana of Dewlahland, the said two buildings completely collapsed.
Other structures like the Telecom Bhavan, Press Club building, MLA quarters at Majorkhul, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research gate at Lamphelpat collapsed, Royal School of Nursing located at Porompat, some part of the wall of Tulihal Airport,etc. Various reports of damaged private residences in the Imphal area are reported and it may be said that many structures suffered some amount of minimum damage.
Other districts also reported damages however not as much as in Imphal West where concrete structures are most thickly concentrated. Thoubal district reported cracks in 10 pillars of the Yairipok bazaar. In Bishnupur, cracks appeared at the New Market, the wall of the Nambol Electricity office collapsed, wall of the Bishnupur Police Station collapsed.
At Churachandpur, the YPA hall was partially damaged.
At Tamenglong, as per reports of the sub-divisional officers, cracks appeared at Nungba SDPO office and four persons were injured when the roofing of the house caved in. 2 residential pucca houses were damaged in Tamenglong headquarter, cracks were seen at the market shed, cracks developed in the village playground, electric post were damaged at Awangkhul and Tupul villages. Around 25 houses were damaged in Khoupum sub- division. At Tamei, there is report of one casualty and one house being damaged. Four persons were severely injured at Noney and one house entirely damaged at Rengpang. There is further report of 20 houses damaged at Tousem Khullen and 3 houses at Tousem Khunou. Among the hill districts, Tamenglong is the worst hit as per reports.
In Ukhrul, cracks appeared at the Viewland Church. At Senapati, the market shed was damaged. Reports are still awaited for Chandel district.