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Sunday, September 18, 2011

PM offers help to Sikkim after earthquake...Latest reports:....Tremor with high intensity in NE and India..Casualties reported...Nine dead in Sikkim, panic in Calcutta...Ground beneath Kanchenjunga slips south, alarm bells ring for Bengal...Landslides snap water lines

Damages in Kalimpong
KalimNews: Pushpa Agarwal (37) of Thakurbari died when bricks fell on her at her residence.
Bhim Tamang buried alive in Ratey pani of Jaldhaka. 
Landslides caused road blockade near Birrick danra and Tarjan Jhora in NH 31A.
2 Spire of bell tower of Macfarlane Church collapsed.
Several buildings damaged.
All schools shut down by administration in Kalimpong and Kurseong.
2 houses swept away and 40 houses damaged in Pochok and Dubling area of 24 constituency.
PM offers help to Sikkim after earthquake
India Today:An earthquake hit large parts of northern and eastern India on Sunday evening. The quake, with the epicentre in Sikkim, measured 6.8 on the Richter scale and struck around 6.11 p.m., as per the initial report.
ITBP rescues 15 foreigners, 150 locals in quake-hit Sikkim.
Power blackout hampers relief operations in earthquake-hit Sikkim.
Five IAF planes pressed into action for Sikkim earthquake relief operations.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh directs Cabinet Secretary to call an emergency meeting of the disaster management authority.
PM speaks to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, offers all necessary help.
Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling has called for an emergency meet.
The Chief Secretary of Sikkim Karma Gyatso said that there were reports suggesting that one child succumbed to injuries after the earthquake.
PM Manmohan singh offers help to Sikkim CM after earthquake
An earthquake hit large parts of northern and eastern India on Sunday evening. The quake, with the epicentre in Sikkim, measured 6.8 on the Richter scale and struck around 6.11 p.m., as per the initial report.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling after a major earthquake rocked the mountaneous state on Sunday and offered help in all possible ways, including availability of defence forces.
The Prime Minister directed Cabinet Secretary to call an emergency meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority, PMO sources said.
The Prime Minister spoke to the Chief Minister soon after an earthquake of 6.8 intensity hit the state, causing extensive damage in the state.
During the conversation with the CM, the Prime Minister offered all possible help, including making available defence forces for rescue and relief operations.
KalimNews, Kalimpong, 18 September: Areas of North East including Darjeeling Hills, Sikkim and plains of Siliguri experienced a very high intensity tremor for about 12 sec (at about 6.18pm at Kalimpong). Till now no casualty is recorded. The return tremor was felt at 6.42pm for about 1 sec. Citizen reporters claim that the tremor lasted for about 40 sec in some parts of Kalimpong.

Reports of tremor in Bangalore and Delhi with low intensity is reported.
Meanwhile in Kalimpong rainfall for the last 24 hours of 118mm is recorded with some landslide in Sabitri Ghising Road area, Bom Busty. Weather department forecasts heavy rainfall in next 24 hours.
Earthquake details
Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 06:10:48 PM
Depth 20.7 km (12.9 miles)
Region SIKKIM, INDIA at Mangan, Sikkim (epicenter)
Magnitude 6.8
Distances 68 km (42 miles) NW of Gangtok, Sikkim, India
119 km (73 miles) NNW of Shiliguri, West Bengal, India
272 km (169 miles) E of KATHMANDU, Nepal
572 km (355 miles) N of Kolkata (Calcutta), West Bengal, India
(Source: U.S. Geological Survey, shared by Ravi Changia)
Casualty: 1 dead in Kalimpong
6 dead and 25 injured in Sikkim, roads, buildings collapsed in several places.
12 died in Nepal (British embassy)
Severe earthquake rocks Sikkim, 13 killed
CNN-IBN, New Delhi, Sep 18, 2011 at 10:52pm: A severe earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale rocked Sikkim on Sunday evening resulting in at least 13 deaths and injuries to several others. The epicentre of the quake was 64 km from Gangtok in Sikkim, causing major damages in the area.
Four people have been killed in Sikkim, state Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso said and five people are reported dead in Nepal. Two persons were reportedly killed in Nalanda and Darbhanga districts of Bihar, out of which one died in a stampede following the tremors. Two persons were also reported dead in West Bengal. Officials say that at least 33 people are reported to have been injured.
The casualty figures are expected to rise as reports from the smaller villages and towns of Sikkim pour in.
The earthquake struck on Sunday at 6:10 PM and tremors were felt in many parts of Bihar including the state capital, Patna, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh also. Mild tremors were also felt in Delhi and other parts of North India.
Aftershocks measuring 6.1 and 5.3 on the Richter Scale were also felt around Sikkim 20 minutes after the earthquake.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, the DGP of Sikkim said that many buildings were damaged. He also said that roads were blocked and people were stranded on roads. He said that Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has called for an emergency meeting.
Arvind Kumar, Principal Resident Commissioner of Sikkim, said that there was excessive damage in the northern parts of Sikkim. He also said that the rescue operations had started in the area.
There were also reports of landslides following the earthquake in areas around Sikkim and also Darjeeling. Two major landslides have been reportd from Sikkim's capital, Gangtok cutting off the Naitonal Highway. Several duildings have also been damaged in Gangtok.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also spoke to the Sikkim Chief Minister and offered all help. The Prime Minister also directed Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth to call for an emergency meeting.
There were reports of damages from Bihar and West Bengal too. Two buildings collapsed in Katihar in Bihar. The NTPC power plant in Kahalgaon in Bihar has also been shut down because of the earthquake following which North Bihar was under power crisis.
Mobile connectivity has also been affected in the quake-hit areas.
Severe damage is expected in areas of Nepal adjoining Sikkim. Parts of the wall of the British Embassy in Nepal have collapsed due to the earthquake in Sikkim.
Two Indian Air Force aircraft have been sent from Hindon to Bagdogra while one aircraft has been sent from Palam. One aircraft from Kolkata has left for Bagdogra with personnel of National Disaster Rescue Force along with all equipment. They will be taken from Bagdogra to Gangtok by road which is being facilitated by BSF and West Bengal Government.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police has launched search and rescue operations in Pegong area of north Sikkim which has been "badly affected" with two ITBP buildings also collapsing after the state was rocked by the earthquake. The 9th NDRF battalion based in Bihta, Bihar has been requisitioned for relief work in Sikkim.
The helpline number for West Bengal is 033-22143230.
Very strong earthquake in SIKKIM, India (updated time to time)
Last update: September 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm by By Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell
Earthquake overview : A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit India 12:40:48 UT (10:48 PM at epicenter) The depth of the hypocenter was at 20.7 km.
The quake comes just days after an earthquake of 4.2 magnitude hit Haryana's Sonepat district, sending tremors in New Delhi.
Spokesperson at Metropolitan Police Division SSP Madhav Kumar Nepal said, 24 persons were injured in the collapses caused by the earthquake in Kathmandu Valley alone. Likewise, two inmates were injured in a stampede at Bhadragol jail in Dillibazaar, Kathmandu, following the tremors. The roof of jail is said to have cracked in the tremor. Government spokesman Shrestha called on all the government bodies and social institutions to immediately collect the details of the damage and loss of lives and take to rescue operations.
A total of 13 people are reported killed currently. Reports of 8 killed in India plus many others injured. Damage is widespread in the epicentral area and it will be days before the true extent of the damage becomes apparent.
5 killed and 44 injured in Nepal. Three persons were killed when a boundary wall of the British Embassy located in the Lainchaur area of the capital collapsed as reported previously. The deceased have been identified as Sajan Shrestha (36), Anisha Shrestha (8), Bir Bahadur Majhi (19). They died while undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital for injuries sustained.
Reports from Dharan in Morang district of eastern Nepal say two persons, Santosh Pariyar (28) and his daughter Kamal (6) died. Their roof fell on them killing them instantly. 44 injured (32 in Kathmandu Valley and 12 in neighbouring regions to India).
The British embassy in Kathmandu, located in the Lainchaur area close to the Indian embassy, collapsed after the quake, smashing a car and killing three people inside. Over 100 people have been injured.
​The updated version of the estimate from USGS has changed the hypocenter to 19km depth and Mw6.9. PAGER has also changed the model from 1 fatality to between 10-100 fatalities which is more inline with the data from WAPMERR. The economic estimate has been changed to $100 million USD expected. These are just models and are not reality!
9 people have been killed (4 in India, 5 in Nepal), with more still expected in the coming hours. Severe damage is expected in areas of Nepal adjoining Sikkim. Parts of the wall of the British Embassy in Nepal have collapsed due to the earthquake in Sikkim. Indian and Nepalese support is on the ground attending to the victims. The earthquake has of course has been changed to CATDAT Red.
Damage is being reported from Gangtkok, Shiliguri, Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong and Darjeeling. Extensive damage in northern Sikkim including landslides. Power supply and telecommunications have been very badly hit in Sikkim. Landslides in Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Two fatalities being reported according to preliminary information. Buildings have collapsed in Katihar district in Bihar. One person killed in Darjeeling and one fatality in Bhagalpur.
According to preliminary reports, Sandipan Banerjee, an official working with a pharmaceutical company, died in a house collapse at Rangpo, according to press.
Another person was killed when the vehicle in which he was travelling was trapped in a mudslide near Bortuk.
Around 25 people were injured when an apartment block collapsed in the town of Rangpo, Prakash Adhikary, a journalist in Gangtok, told IANS and press.
These are all preliminary, and will need to be verified.
Not much has been reported from Bhutan and Nepal, however there is also potential damage in these countries.
An additional update of felt reports from Gangtok and close regions has reduced the MMI to VI indicating slight damage.
This is good news, but still major damage is expected closer to the epicenter.
UPDATE: 14: 50 UTC:
​​Local authorities confirmed that at least three persons were killed and 7 others injured in the earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal.
UPDATE: 14:35 UTC:-
Thanks to everyone for the felt reports and also to Anup for the updates. Please keep them coming. There have been reports of landslides in areas around Sikkim and Darjeeling. Many casualties in this area from historical earthquakes have been due to mudslides and landslides as a result of an earthquake.
Two buildings collapsed in Katihar and Bihar. Roads are blocked and much damage has occurred at all locations in Sikkim. One child is also said to be injured, but we expect many more casualties.
UPDATE: 14:32 UTC:
Earthquake well felt in every part of Nepal. In Solukhumbu district, there have been 7 people injured in Sankhuwasabha, Nepal while people came running out of their home after the tremor was felt. Ranigunj Durbar of Parsa district in Nepal also had problems due to the tremor.
UPDATE: 14:21 UTC:-
The magnitude has been raised to Mw6.9 by GFZ.
UPDATE: 14:13 UTC:-
Aftershocks of 6.1 and 5.3 have occurred. Regional TV station NewsLive reported that 10 to 12 buildings collapsed in Sikkim's state capital of Gangtok. We expect further damage and fatalities close to the epicentre.
UPDATE: 14:11 UTC:-
Reports say BSNL lines in north Bengal are down cutting off communication links in the region. Power has been disrupted in Darjeeling and other northern parts of West Bengal. In Assam's major city Guwahati, people panicked and ran out on the streets after the quake shook their houses. There were initial reports of minor damage.
UPDATE: 14:07 UTC:-
The first damage reports have come in with Indian reports detailing at least a dozen houses have collapsed in Sikkim alone.
Many houses collapsing may have caused many injured. More damage reports are expected soon.
This earthquake has been labelled CATDAT Orange, and is expected to move up to CATDAT Red soon.
UPDATE: 14:00 UTC:-
Just repeating, that a major earthquake has occurred on the India/Nepal border – Mw6.8. The earthquake occurred on a strike-slip fault from the moment tensor solution.
From GFZ – Mw6.8, 27.7N, 88.17E, 30km depth.
From USGS – Mw6.8, 27.73N, 88.082N, 20.7km depth.
This earthquake has been felt up to 900km away according to some felt reports. The closest felt report from USGS at the moment is 70km away at intensity 6 or 7.
UPDATE: 13:55 UTC:-
Telephone land lines to Gangtok were disconnected and not much information is available from the epicentre as expected at this time. We are still awaiting at this time damage reports.
UPDATE: 13:47 UTC:-
The capital of Bhutan has received moderate shaking of intensity V. We continue to expect much damage.
UPDATE: 13:44 UTC:-
Gangtok and Shiliguri have recorded VII intensity values from the did you feel it? system on USGS meaning there is likely damage.
The city of Lucknow recorded shaking for 30 seconds.
UPDATE: 13:39 UTC:-
Earthquakes in 1973, 1980, 2006 and 2007 have caused damage and fatalities near Sikkim, India in CATDAT.
However, these earthquakes have had magnitudes much lower. The last earthquake in 2007 caused 2 fatalities near where the earthquake occurred today.
UPDATE: 13:36 UTC:-
​PAGER is reporting a median 1 fatality from their estimate and a median 1-10 million USD damage.
​WAPMERR is however reporting that it could have between 100-400 fatalities, 200-800 injuries.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit India 12:40:48 UT (10:48 PM at epicenter)
The depth of the hypocenter was at 20.7 km.
The quake comes just days after an earthquake of 4.2 magnitude hit Haryana's Sonepat district, sending tremors in New Delhi.
We have no information untill now of any damage.
Read more at:
"I Have Felt It" reports as received by
MMI values (if indicated) after the text (III: Weak shaking, IV Light shaking, V Moderate shaking, VI Strong shaking, VII Very Strong shaking)
Dehradun.India: I was sitting with rest to the wall n it suddenly started shaking..n d windows too
Dhaka, Bangladesh : till now this is the longest earthquake i have ever felt.
Delhi, India : Lamps hanging from the ceiling started moving on its own.. Lasted for about 20 seconds
Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude :6.8
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 06:10:48 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) :20.7 km
Geo-location(s) : 68 km (42 miles) NW of Gangtok, Sikkim, India
119 km (73 miles) NNW of Shiliguri, West Bengal, India
133 km (83 miles) E of Namche Bazar, Nepal
272 km (169 miles) E of KATHMANDU, Nepal
Earthquake in Sikkim: Many injured in north Bengal, power supply disrupted
IANS, September 18, 2011 23:04: Kolkata: Many people were injured, power supply was disrupted in parts of northern West Bengal and houses developed cracks as a powerful quake, epicentred in adjoining Sikkim, rocked the region on Sunday evening.
North Bengal Affairs Minister Gautam Deb said the quake triggered landslides in Kalimpong and Kurseong sub-divisions while several patients in a nursing home in Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district were injured.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that as per initial reports, power supply has been disrupted in areas near Sikkim like Kalimpong of Darjeeling district, and adjoining Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts.
"One sub-station has been affected in Siliguri, disrupting power supply. Most of the areas of north Bengal, including Darjeeling district, have been lashed by overnight rains. After the quake, situation has deteriorated with landslides in Kalimpong and Kurseong," Deb said.
"The impact was more in Cooch Behar district. Jalpaiguri district has also been hit," he said shortly after an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale with its epicentre near the Sikkim-Nepal border hit the state Sunday evening,
The Darjeeling district magistrate has been asked to go to the spot to see the situation first hand, the chief minister said.
"The district magistrate of Darjeeling is already on the field assessing the situation but he may not be able to assess the whole situation right now as it is very dark out there. As Darjeeling and Kalimpong are close to the epicentre, that's why it is a bit affected as per initial reports," Banerjee said.
She said she could not contact officials of Jalpaiguri district.
"Some houses may have developed cracks in the hills, but we are still awaiting confirmation. We are constantly monitoring the situation. If anybody is trapped, then we should all work together to rescue such people. We will help each other," she said.
The chief minister said an emergency helpline (03322145486) has been started at the director general of police control room at the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings, in Kolkata.
"But there is nothing to panic. The administration is on high alert," she said.
Weather officials warned of more landslides in the Darjeeling hills following heavy rains.
"Due to heavy rainfall in Darjeeling hills, there are chances of landslides following the earthquake. There may also be aftershocks," said G.C. Debnath, director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata.
All districts have been asked to start emergency helplines.
Panic gripped Kolkata, where Durga Puja shopping was at its peak.
Shopping malls were evacuated, people rushed to the streets, and the superstitious people blew conches to ward off evil spirit.
"It was very frightful. I never had such an experience. There was an announcement on the public address system to evacuate the floor. I and my sons managed to come out fast. But there was lot of commotion at the exit gate," said a man in his late 30s who had come to a shopping mall with his two sons.
A crack developed in the police housing complex at Ultadanga in north Kolkata.
Nine dead in Sikkim, panic in Calcutta
BIJOY GURUNG, TT, GANGTOK, Sept. 18: A 6.9-magnitude earthquake epicentred 68km northwest of Gangtok struck at 6.11pm today, killing 14 people in India and four in Nepal and sending people rushing out of buildings from Calcutta to Delhi.
Nine died in worst-hit Sikkim, one each in Siliguri, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri, and two minor children in Bihar, including a boy crushed in a stampede. Several houses collapsed and walls developed cracks in Gangtok, where many tall buildings have come up recently.
In Calcutta, the tremors that lasted nearly a minute were felt most strongly in high-rises, largely sparing the peak-hour crowd of Puja shoppers in stores and malls from the sort of panic that gripped some hospitals and apartment blocks.
“It was visiting hour. I saw patients being dragged out of the wards by their relatives,” said Deepak Balmiki, pantry manager on CMRI Hospital’s sixth floor. Calm returned soon, though.
Dr Tapan Ghosh suddenly felt his head “spinning” as he and his wife sipped tea on a 28th-floor flat in Tower 4 of South City. “My teacup was shaking. We heard the South City public address system announce an earthquake and ask all to evacuate immediately. We rushed to the elevator with my bed-ridden 74-year-old mother and stayed out in the open for 40 minutes,” he said.
A neighbour, though, got trapped in a lift that “swung like a pendulum” several floors above the ground.
People grappled with bigger tragedies elsewhere. The lone victim identified in Sikkim, where the shaking mountains shook a minor girl off a slope to her death, is Cipla employee Sandeepan Banerjee. He was buried under a wall in Rango, 41km from Gangtok, but it’s not clear if he was from Bengal.
Bengal’s dead were Binod Agarwal, 48, crushed by a wall that caved in on seven people in Siliguri’s Khalpara; Pushpa Agarwal, 37, killed by a shower of bricks while cooking in Kalimpong’s Thakurbari; and an 18-year-old boy in Jalpaiguri district’s Malbazar.
Power and mobile links were knocked out across Sikkim and parts of north Bengal as the quake, followed by two milder ones, snapped overhead lines and damaged cellphone towers. Houses were damaged in Siliguri, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Kurseong.
More than 100 people arrived at Siliguri district hospital and 30 were admitted. “Falling bricks caused most of the injuries but some got hurt jumping off balconies and rooftops,” a doctor said.
Tremors were felt also in Meghalaya, Assam, Tripura, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan but apparently had no effect on the nuclear power stations at Rajasthan’s Narora and Rawatbhata.
In Kathmandu, MPs debating the national budget ran out of the legislature to a parking area but returned after 15 minutes to resume the session. Families scrambled out of homes in Dhaka too but Bangladesh got through without fatalities.
On Sikkim’s winding highways, a falling boulder smashed a car and killed two men on the Nathula road and another trapped a woman in a car 5km from Gangtok.
Football star Bhaichung Bhutia was fortunate. “I had just driven down to my village Tinkitam from Gangtok, where my wife and kids are staying, and was sipping tea when the earthquake hit,” he told The Telegraph.
“My village is fine but Gangtok has been badly affected. My wife and kids are safe.”
Panicky tourists in Gangtok huddled among the crowds on MG Marg. “We’ll spend the night in the open and try to reach Siliguri early tomorrow,” said Abhishek Srivastava of Patna.
The full extent of damage in Sikkim was unclear because remote areas were cut off by quake-triggered mudslides. Four IAF aircraft left for Bagdogra with National Disaster Rescue Force teams.
Army rescuers and medics were spreading out across Sikkim while army engineers moved uphill from Siliguri to clear the Gangtok road, blocked at four places.
Ground beneath Kanchenjunga slips south, alarm bells ring for Bengal
G.S. MUDUR, TT,New Delhi, Sept. 18: A behemoth chunk of rock about 20km beneath the mountains around Kanchenjunga lurched southward today in the 6.9 magnitude earthquake that scientists say should stir the Bengal and Sikkim governments into a state of high alert.
The first and preliminary analysis of the mechanisms underlying the earthquake near the Sikkim-Nepal border suggests that the western edge of Sikkim had slipped southward relative to Nepal during the earthquake, geophysicists and seismologists said.
The first earthquake was followed by two smaller 4.8 and 4.6 magnitude earthquakes on the eastern side of the main event in a pattern that points to additional build-up of strain in subterranean rocks across Sikkim, three scientists tracking the events said.
“The movement of rock associated with the 6.9 event on the western side of Sikkim is likely to have caused a pile-up of strain towards its east leading to the two subsequent events," said Supriyo Mitra, a seismologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Calcutta. “In a region where strain has accumulated for years, the 6.9 event was a trigger for the next two,” Mitra told The Telegraph.
Geophysicists say the two smaller earthquakes would not have released the enormous strain that has accumulated in the region. “The two (smaller) quakes were like peanuts,” said Vinod Gaur, a geophysicist at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.
G.C Debnath, director of the Alipore meteorological centre, said: “The first tremor with an intensity of 6.9 on the Richter scale happened at 6.11pm, followed by a 5.7 intensity aftershock at 6.21pm. The third one happened at 6.43pm with 5.3 intensity, while the last one occurred at 7.24pm with intensity of 4.6 at Richter scale.”
“These are not aftershocks because they are not on the same fault as the first event,” said Mitra, the seismologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, who maintains four seismic monitoring stations in Sikkim.
Scientists say release of the accumulated strain in Sikkim could happen in months or years — and earthquakes cannot be predicted. “I think prudence dictates that Bengal and Sikkim should initiate action — at least across Sikkim and north Bengal — to scrutinise buildings such as schools and hospitals, where a large number of people assemble, for vulnerability and retrofitting using available engineering solutions,” said Gaur.
The Himalayan region marks the zone where India is slipping under Tibet at the rate of about 18mm per year. This tectonic plate movement leads to strain build-up, which is released when subterranean rocks along the slip zone reach their fracture points.
Scientists estimate that the amount of energy released during the 6.9 earthquake was equivalent to 340,000 tonnes of TNT, or about 22 times the energy released by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Geophysicists say earthquakes in the Himalayas are likely to cause significant shaking of structures built along the Gangetic plains across northern and eastern India. “The contrast between the soft sediments lying above the harder rock all along the Gangetic plains is likely to cause amplification of energy,” said Shyam Sunder Rai, a scientist at the National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad.
“Whatever energy has been released by the earthquakes today does not rule out the possibility of an even bigger quake in other areas along the Himalayan region,” said Rai.
Gaur believes moderate earthquakes may mean that more are to come. “Moderate earthquakes in plate boundary environments such as the Himalayas therefore verily presage closeness of the region to a great rupture of magnitude 8 or so.”
The US Geological Survey said this region has experienced relatively moderate seismicity in the past with 18 earthquakes of magnitude 5 or larger over the past 35 years within 100km of the epicentre of today’s event. The largest of these was a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in November 1980 about 75km southeast.
Quake jolts people out of homes - One dies, 150 injured in Siliguri
TT, Siliguri, Sept. 18: Buildings striated with cracks and crumbled walls dotted Siliguri after the powerful earthquake that sent the people cooped up in homes on the rain-soaked Sunday scurrying for the safety of streets.
One person died and more than 150 people were injured in the tremor that hit Siliguri along with the rest of north and north-east India around 6.10pm. Most of the people suffered injuries when they jumped off from balconies and terraces when the buildings trembled in the 40-second-long tremor.
Power went off for three hours and all shops and eateries located on Hill Cart Road, Sevoke Road and Bidhan Market were shut after the quake.
“It was a terrific experience which I had never gone through in my life before. The entire floor was trembling and iron shutters were shaking as if somebody was trying to push them,” said Manik Pal, a resident of Pradhannagar here.
The sole fatality in the quake in Siliguri was reported from Khalpara. Binod Agarwal, 46, and six others were injured when a wall came crashing down on them.
“All the seven were rushed to hospitals. But Agarwal succumbed to his injuries. Others are undergoing treatment,” said Siliguri mayor Gangotri Dutta.
Anjali Saha, working in a tailor shop at Fuleswari, was injured when a wall fell on her. She started running down from her second floor shop the moment she found that the earth was shaking.
“A portion of the building’s wall cracked and some bricks fell on my head,” Roy said after she was administered medicine in the emergency ward of the Siliguri district hospital.
Biswajit Biswas of Champasari, who jumped from the first floor of a building and injured his shoulder, was also treated in the same hospital.
Uttara Roy, a resident of Netajinagar, came to hospital with an injury on the head. Her husband, Baneswar Roy, said she was at home when the earthquake took place. “My wife was about to come out of the room when the wall collapsed on her head. She needed a few stitches on her wound,” he said.
Susanta Sarkar, the superintendent of the district hospital, swung into action soon after the tremor. He formed a team of five doctors for the treatment of the injured people. “More than 100 patients have received treatment in the emergency ward. Most of them suffered head injuries,” said Sarkar.
The mayor and member-mayor-in-council (building) Krishna Pal visited the hospital and talked to the injured people.
“I have spoken to the doctors and am trying to figure out the extent of the damage. I heard that several structures developed cracks and many were injured. We are now trying to form a disaster management team that will help the victims here,” said Datta.
The quake was a double whammy for the Puja shoppers who had to stay back at home today because of the incessant rains.
Landslides snap water lines

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Sept. 18: Over 7,000 households in town have not been receiving drinking water for the past couple of days after the pipelines that ferry water to the reservoir in Deolo were damaged in landslides.
The pipelines that connect the tank with the water sources at Neora and Thukchuk were snapped near Ramitey on Tuesday.
Deolo is 5km from Kalimpong town.
According to officials of the public health engineering (PHE) department, it could take several days or even weeks, to restore the supply because the pipelines have been severely damaged.
“About 160-feet long portion of the pipeline has been washed away by the landslides. The incessant rains are not helping the matters. We can’t even carry out temporary repair in the area as mud and slush are still rolling down the hillside. We can’t risk the life of our staff,” said PHE superintendent Rajen Pradhan.
Officials said Kalimpong required around 7.3 lakh gallons of water every day and the PHE department supplied potable water for half-an-hour on every alternate days.
With the normal supplies being hit, the department has decided to release a reserve stock from tomorrow to ease out the problem.
“We last supplied water to the residents on September 13. Given the difficulties that the people are facing, we have decided to release the reserve of water stock tomorrow. We, however, would urge the people to save water since we are not sure when we will be able restore normal supply,” Pradhan said.
With the supplies being hit, residents of the town are having to buy drinking water from the market where 1,000 litre is priced between Rs 200 and Rs 300 depending on the distance of the houses from the water source.
The water crisis is also causing heartburn to the hoteliers here as it has come at a time when the tourist season is about to begin.
“This disruption is a major concern for us especially when the prospects for this tourism season was looking very good. Since it is still raining here I can make do with the rainwater because I can harvest it. Later, I will be left with no choice but to buy drinking water from the market,” said Raju Sherpa, the owner of a tourist lodge on Ogden Road.


  1. kolkatta felt a slight tremor too.. da first time..

  2. Pre-quake damage by landslide due to rainfall in the Borbot area of Ward 15. Katel family and Zimba family were affected by it. The post quake caused feasures in the land and shows danger signs if rainfall occurs in coming time.No casualty is found till this time.