Tuesday, May 22, 2007

SIKKIM ROCKS AGAIN

Mild earthquake strikes Sikkim and North Bengal for the second time in two days

GANGTOK/NAMCHI, May 20: Another earthquake rattled Sikkim and parts of Darjeeling Hills this evening, the second one in two days.

The earthquake, which struck around 7:48 pm this evening, was felt in most parts of Sikkim including Ranipool, Singtam, Rangpo, Namchi and Jorethang and in places like Darjeeling and Mirik. Reports of a mild quake have come in from Pakyong, Rhenock and Rongli in East Sikkim.

The magnitude and the epicentre of the quake, which lasted a few seconds, could not be ascertained at the time of going to print.

The earthquake this evening was much stronger in intensity than the one felt on May 18, which struck around 6: 10 pm and had lasted longer but was milder in nature.

In Namchi in South Sikkim, the quake was reportedly stronger forcing people to rush out of their houses into the streets in panic. Moments the quake struck, the electricity supply went off and the town was engulfed in total darkness, adding to the woes of the people. Even an hour after the quake had passed, residents of Namchi were still seen thronging the streets, fearful to go back to their homes.

Preliminary reports from the Meteorological Department here had revealed that the Friday quake measured 5.7 to 6 on the Richter scale. The quake was felt in Ranka, Ranipool, Singtam, Rangpo, West Sikkim and parts of Darjeeling Hills. The epicenter of the quake was said to be somewhere in North Sikkim.

There are no reports of damage or injuries yet.