5.4 magnitude quake hits J-K’s Doda, tremors felt in parts of north India

Doda/Bhaderwah (J-K): A 5.4 magnitude earthquake hit Doda in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday afternoon, forcing people in parts of the union territory to rush out of their homes in panic and causing damage to some buildings, officials said.

The tremors were felt across Delhi and other parts of north India, and in neighbouring Pakistan. The National Centre for Seismology (NCS) said the 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck the region at 1:33 pm. Its epicentre was in Doda.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 6 kilometres, it said. In Doda’s Bhaderwah town, a few buildings developed cracks due to the tremors. The false ceiling of a ward of the sub-district hospital collapsed.

Some of the debris fell on patients recuperating in the hospital ward, an official said. The patients have been moved to safety and are being treated in an emergency ward of the hospital, he said.

Azim Malik, a resident of Ghata Bhaderwah, said his house was damaged due to the tremors. ”It was a strong earthquake and cracks have developed in my house,” Malik told PTI. Panic-stricken schoolchildren gathered in fields in the Bhaderwah valley and teachers were seen consoling a few of them who were sobbing.

Officials in Doda said they are assessing the damage caused by the earthquake. Tremors were also felt in Chamba in Himachal Pradesh, about 150 km from Doda.

”Things in my kitchen were shaking due to the tremors,” said Nandini, a resident of Shimla. The earthquake was also felt in parts of Punjab and Haryana but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage to property.

”The tremors were mild and I felt them while I was sitting on a chair,” said Baldev Chand, a resident of Chandigarh.