A moderate intensity earthquake jolted Uttarakhand on Wednesday night with tremors being felt as far away as Delhi. The epicentre of the magnitude 5.5 earthquake was Rudraprayag district while its effects were also felt in adjoining districts such as US Nagar, Delhi-NCR too.There were no immediate reports of any injury or destruction in parts of Delhi-NCR.
According to Dehradun Meteorological Centre director Bikram Singh, the epicentre was reported at 30.4 latitude north and 79.1 latitude east in which Rudraprayag district falls.Epicentre has been located to 34 km northwest of Pipalkoti, a small town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
Singh said that the magnitude was moderate due to which there should be no damage to people or property.
Tremors were also felt in different parts of the country, magnitude 5.0 and epicenter 121 Km East of Dehradun, European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre has said.
Just weeks ago, National Centre for Seismology Director Dr. Vineet Gehlot had warned a major earthquake of magnitude 8 is due to hit Uttarakhand's Garhwal Himalaya which could afflict widespread damage in northern India.
There has been no major tremor reported in the region for the last 600 years, but as minor earthquakes being witnessed in this area are releasing a small amount of energy, a severe jolt is expected.
"Statistics indicate there is a possibility of a major earthquake in Uttarakhand in future. Reasons to believe so, no major earth quake has struck region in past 500-700 years and energy required to build major earthquakes is accumulating since 100 years," Director of National Centre for Seismology Dr. Vineet Gehlot told.
Dr. Gehlot further warned that the maximum damage would be in the lowlands. However, the scientists present at the event also said that the amount of loss due to the earthquake can be reduced by building tremor-resilient infrastructure along the hilly areas.
He added that a lot of precautions needed to be taken such as following safe building codes and sound planning to minimize the impact of earthquakes.