New Delhi: Four earthquakes in three hours brought people in south Delhi rushing out of their homes in the dead of the night yesterday. Many said they stayed out all night. (Comment here)
The quakes struck between 12:41 and 03:41 am at regular intervals; the first at 12:41 am had its epicentre near Sainik Farms area in south Delhi and happened at a depth of 10 km below the ground, the MET office said. It measured 3.1 on the Richter scale.
The second quake, 3.3 in intensity, shook Delhi and its satellite towns at 1:41 am. The epicentre of this quake and two others that followed lay further south - south-east of Manesar beyond Gurgaon in Haryana. The next two quakes, at 1:55 and 3:40 am were of 2.5 and 2.8 magnitude respectively.
Three minor tremors, measuring below 2.5 on the Richter scale, were also experienced during this three-hour period, according to the MET department.
Experts described the quakes as mild tremors caused by a re-alignment in fault zones.
But people who felt the ground shake said they seemed anything but mild. "Yes, tremors in Delhi just a minute ago. Like thunder coming from the ground!" tweeted Jamal Shaikh.
Another person with the Twitter handle @DilliDurAst posted, "This must be the strongest earthquake tremor I have ever felt. It was like the earth shivering. #Delhi (sic)."
In places like Kotla Mubarakpur near Defence Colony in south Delhi, people said they came out of their homes and did not go back in for fear of a bigger tremor.
"It was a good thing to see that people came out of buildings when tremors were felt," M Shashidhar Reddy, Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.
Experts say such quakes test the preparedness of people and buildings in the national capital, which lies close to a faultline and so is susceptible to a big earthquake.