Many injured as tremors jolt Bengal (Third Lead)

Siliguri/Kolkata, April 13 (IANS) The Kolkata Metro Railway services were temporarily halted and panic gripped the eastern megapolis and nearby districts as a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in the Myanmar-India border region shook West Bengal on Wednesday evening.

At least 10-12 people suffered minor injuries in north Bengal. While some of them fell on the stairs in their mad rush to come out of buildings, a few others tripped while running on the streets.

Four-five people were injured in the north Bengal town of Siliguri in Darjeeling district. At least seven others sustained injuries in nearby Jalpaiguri district.

Some of the injured were taken to hospital in Siliguri and sent home after first aid.

The tremors felt at 7.25 p.m. snapped communication (mobile and landline) connectivity.

The quake occurred at a depth of 134 km below the earth’s surface in the Myanmar-India border region.

At suburban Salt Lake on Kolkata’s northeastern fringes, cracks appeared in the walls of some houses.

People busy shopping for the Bengali New Year at malls ran out to the streets, driven by fear and panic.

Multi-storeyed buildings emptied out quickly for some time as residents rushed down to the streets.

The Kolkata Metro Railway services were suspended for five minutes.

“Once we came to know of the quake, we suspended Metro services. The trains which were in the tunnel were slowly brought to the nearby stations,” a Metro Railway spokesperson said.

“After five minutes, the trains again started operating, but with speed restrictions. Motormen have been ordered to be on high alert. The trains are moving at a slower speed. So the frequency will suffer,” the official said.

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