Northeast shaken by biggest quake in a decade

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Shillong, Feb 4 (PTI) A 6.4 magnitude quake, believedto be the biggest in a decade, shook most parts of thenortheast and West Bengal this evening.

There was, however, no immediate report of any damageor casualty.

The epicenter of the quake, which took place at 7.24pm, was located at the Indo-Myanmar border in Manipur, theCentral Seismological Observatory here said.

People ran out of their homes as the quake shook thebuildings for about 20 seconds while aftershocks were felt fora few more seconds.

The epicenter was located at 24.8 degree northlatitude and 94.6 degree east longitude.

The quake occurred 30 km below the earth''s surface andwas felt in Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and parts of Mizoram,West Bengal and Nagaland.

Officials say this was the biggest quake in the pastten years after October 11, 2000, when the intensity was 6 onthe Richter scale.

On September 21, 2009, an earthquake measuring 6.2 onthe Richter was felt in the region. The quake had left overhalf a dozen dead in the neighbouring Bhutan where it had theepicenter.

The northeastern region, lying in the highest seismicrisk zone, had experienced some of world''s worst quakes, be itthe Shillong quake or the Assam one (1950), both measuringaround 8.5 and reckoned to be two major quakes in humanhistory, both in terms of intensity and destruction.

The 1897 quake that occurred in the Shillong plateauhad left 1,542 people dead.

Records of the Central Seismological Observatory inShillong also point to increasing seismic activity in theregion.

34 quakes of light and moderate intensity was felt inthe region in 2009.

The region had witnessed 26 earthquakes each in 2008and 2007, while it was 23 in 2006.

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