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Earthquake hits northeast India, Bangladesh.

Byline: Shawn Selby, PropertyCasualty360.com

According to Boston-based catastrophe modeling company AIR Worldwide, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit northeast India near its border with Myanmar and Bangladesh on Jan. 4 at 4:35 a.m. local time.

The quake was centered about 18 miles northwest of Imphal (population of approximately 270,000), the capital of Manipur state, AIR said. The quake -- which reportedly lasted as long as 60 seconds -- occurred while many people were asleep. The current casualty toll is expected to rise, with rescue efforts hampered by severed power supplies and telecommunication links.

At least eight people were killed and another 100 were injured, The Times of India reported.

The India Meteorological Department placed the epicenter of the quake in the Tamenglong region of Manipur state, at a depth of about about 10 miles. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported the depth at about 34 miles.

Where it was felt

"In addition to all the northeastern states, tremors also were felt in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, including Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal state," said Dr. Bingming Shen-Tu, assistant vice president and senior principal scientist at AIR. "The USGS posted user-submitted reports of moderate-to-strong ground shaking from many locations in the far eastern part of India, too, as well as west of the epicenter in neighboring Bangladesh. Lighter ground shaking was reported over a wide region as far as 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from the epicenter. Shaking affected large parts of Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal, countries that also border India."

A 3.6-magnitude aftershock occurred about 9:27 a.m., local time, followed by a 3.4-magnitude aftershock at about 2:30 p.m., AIR said.

According to the USGS, the earthquake occurred as a result of predominantly strike-slip faulting in the complex plate boundary region between the Indian and Eurasian plates in Southeast Asia. In the region of the earthquake, the Indian plate is moving toward the north-northeast with respect to the Eurasian plate at a velocity of approximately 1.9 inches a year.

According to India's National Disaster Management Authority, damage to a few buildings, residential units and government offices have been reported, including damage to a newly constructed six-story building in Imphal. Power to Imphal City has been disrupted, and some power installations have suffered damage.

Here are some photos of the quake's damage:

Indian soldiers and locals remove debris from a damaged building after an earthquake in Imphal, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Monday, Jan. 4. (Photo: Bullu Raj/AP Photo)

A doctor attends to a man who was injured after an earthquake at a hospital in Imphal, capital of the northeastern state of Manipur, India, Monday, Jan. 4. (Photo: Bullu Raj/AP Photo)

The interior of a house is damaged after an earthquake in Imphal, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Monday, Jan. 4. (Photo: Bullu Raj/AP Photo)

An Indian man inspects damage caused to a house after an earthquake in Imphal, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Monday, Jan. 4. (Photo: Bullu Raj/AP Photo)

The interior of a market is seen damaged in an earthquake in Imphal, capital of the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, Monday, Jan. 4. (Photo: Bullu Raj/AP Photo)

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Publication:Property and Casualty 360
Geographic Code:9BANG
Date:Jan 5, 2016
Words:557
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