Kolkata:  The West Bengal government on Sunday night asked the Army to assist civil authorities, if needed, in relief and rescue work in Darjeeling and some other quake-hit
North Bengal districts.

"I have talked to the army authorities here and requested them to provide help if necessary," said Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh.

"I have heard that one person has died in Kalimpong after he suffered injuries from falling bricks. But there is no confirmation in this regard," he said.

"So far there has been no report of any damage though cracks have developed in some houses," he said as power lines snapped in Darjeeling and Kalimpong where the tremors were mainly felt.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said there has been damage in Darjeeling Hills "but hopefully not on the scale that has happened in Sikkim."

She said efforts were on to restore power supply in the hill areas of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

"Darjeeling district magistrate has already been asked to assess whether there has been any damage to any building or household in the hills," Banerjee said, adding that necessary
assistance will be provided in case of any damage.

"There is no report of any casualty so far. Darjeeling and Kalimpong are now in total darkness," Banerjee said.

"I have talked to Sikkim Chief Minister and told him we stand by the people of Sikkim at this hour as neighbours", she said.

"We will render assistance to Sikkim if necessary," Banerjee said.

Asked whether there had been much damage in North Bengal districts mainly in Darjeeling, she said, "Proper assessment can be done only tomorrow as it is dark now and the power supply has snapped in several places there."

She said that at Birpara in Jalpaiguri district a power station almost caught fire during the earthquake. She said efforts were on to restore power.

"We have alerted all district magistrates throughout the state," she said, adding that the chief secretary was also monitoring the situation.

Control centers have been opened at the West Bengal Police Control room at the state secretariat as also at the city police headquarters at Lalbazar here, the chief minister said.

"There is no need to panic. I have asked all DMs to fan out and find out whether there has been any problem," she said, adding that some other districts have also been asked to open control rooms.

In Darjeeling, window panes of some tall buildings rattled under the impact of the tremor.

The Chief Minister said that industry minister Partha Chatterjee and the North Bengal Development minister Gautam Deb have been asked to rush to the spot.

"I will also visit if situation arises", she said.

(Agencies)