New Delhi: A powerful earthquake of 7.2 magnitude on the Richter scale struck the southern Xinjiang region of China late Monday night, sending tremors across North India, including Delhi-NCR. The earthquake, which occurred at 11:39 pm, had a depth of 80 kilometers and was centered near the Kyrgyzstan border, according to the National Seismological Center of India. The quake was also felt in other Central Asian countries, such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
The earthquake caused panic among the residents of Delhi-NCR, who felt the strong tremors for several seconds. Many people rushed out of their homes and gathered on the roads, fearing for their safety. Some people also posted videos and messages on social media, sharing their experiences of the quake. However, no casualties or major damages were reported from the region.
The earthquake also shook other cities and states in North India, such as Noida, Faridabad, Gurugram, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan. The authorities urged the people to stay calm and alert and follow the safety guidelines issued by the disaster management department. The authorities also said that they were monitoring the situation and ready to provide any assistance if needed.
This was the second time this month that North India felt the tremors of an earthquake. On January 11, 2024, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Afghanistan, which was also felt in Delhi-NCR and other parts of North India. No casualties or damages were reported from that quake either.
Earthquakes are caused by the sudden movements of tectonic plates, which are large pieces of the Earth’s crust that float on the mantle, the layer below the crust. The movements of the plates create stress and friction along the faults, which are cracks or fractures in the crust. When the stress becomes too much, the faults rupture and release energy in the form of seismic waves, which travel through the Earth and cause the ground to shake. Earthquakes can also be triggered by other factors, such as meteor impacts, volcanic eruptions, mine blasts, and nuclear tests.
The intensity of an earthquake is measured by the Richter scale, which ranges from 0 to 9. An earthquake of intensity 2.0 or 3.0 is considered mild and barely noticeable, while an earthquake of intensity 6.0 or more is considered dangerous and destructive. An earthquake of 7.0 or more is considered very strong and can cause widespread damage and casualties. According to the US Geological Survey, the largest earthquake in the world in the past century was a 9.5 magnitude one that struck Chile in 1960.