New Delhi: An earthquake of medium intensity jolted Delhi and its satellite towns late Wednesday night, pulling panic-stricken people out of their homes.
   
The tremors, measuring 4.2 on Richter Scale with Haryana's Sonepat as epicentre, were felt across Delhi and its adjoining satellite towns of Ghaziabad and Noida in Uttar Pradesh and
Gurgaon in Haryana at 11:28 pm.
   
The tremors were felt for less than ten seconds.
   
"The intensity was 4.2 and the epicentre was Sonepat," Shailesh Nayak, Secretary in Ministry of Earth Sciences, and IMD Director General Ajit Tyagi said.
   
The quake sent shivers among citizens who ran out of the high-rise buildings.
   
There were no immediate reports of any casualty. The fire brigade and police said they have not received any immediate calls of casualty or damage.


Delhi among 30 cities at high risk of earthquake: Govt
    
Delhi is among thirty important cities in the country that fall into high risk seismic zone
while Srinagar is among places at very high risk of earthquakes, the government said.
    
Minister of State for Home Affairs Mullappally Ramachandran said this in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
    
While Delhi, Amritsar and Chandigarh fall under zone IV (high risk), Srinagar comes under zone V (very high risk), he said.
    
As per seismic map of India prepared by Bureau of Indian Standards 58.6 per cent areas of the country fall into earthquake zone V (very high risk), IV (high risk) and III
(moderate risk)," the Minister said.
    
Towns like Almora, Ambala, Bahraich, Barauni, Bhuj, Bulandshahar, Darbhanga, Darjeeling, Dehradun, Gangtok, Guwahati, Gorakhpur, Imphal, Jorhat, Kohima, Ludhiyana, Mandi,
Monghyr, Moradabad, Nainital, Patna, Pilibhit, Roorkee, Sadiya, Shimla and Tezpur fall under seismic zone IV and V.

"Government has also sent advisories to state governments and Union Territory Administrations from time to time to take up various disaster mitigation and preparedness measures by way of adoption of modern building bye-laws to ensure seismic resistant construction," the Minister said.

Strong quake jolts west Indonesia; 3 people killed

A powerful earthquake jolted western Indonesia Wednesday morning, killing three people and sending panicked residents fleeing from homes, hotels and even a hospital.

The magnitude-6.6 quake hit about 1 am (2330 IST) Monday, waking people in towns and villages across Sumatra island's northern tip.

It was centered 100 kilometres southwest of the city of Medan and 110 kilometres beneath the earth's crust, according to the US Geological Survey. It was too far inland to generate
a tsunami.

Maura Sakti, a mayor in Subulussalam, told local station TVOne a 12-year-old boy had been killed. At least one other person was injured.
   
Boby Sigit, an official at the National Disaster Management, said later that two people were killed in Aceh -- the boy and a 60-year-old man -- while a 26-year-old mother
died in North Sumatra's district of Dairi.
   
Hundreds of people were evacuated to temporary shelters as authorities surveyed the damage, said Lt Col Helmy Kesuma, police chief in the hard-hit town of Singkil.
   
Some electricity poles were knocked down there, crashing into homes and causing blackouts.

"My wife was screaming, my children crying," said Burhan Mardiansyah, 37, a Singkil resident. "We saw our walls start to crack and everything inside the house was falling. Thank God we're all safe."
   
Indonesia straddles a series of fault lines that makes the vast island nation prone to volcanic and seismic activity. A giant quake off the country on Dec 26, 2004, triggered a
tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed 230,000 people, half of them in Indonesia's westernmost province of Aceh.

Quake hits northern Japan

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake shook northern Japan, but there were no immediate reports of
damage or casualties and no tsunami warning, the weather agency said.
   
The quake hit at 10:29 pm local time at a shallow point, just offshore of Urakawa, on the southern coast of Hokkaido island, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
   
The epicentre is further north than the March 11 quake on the northeast coast that triggered a tsunami and left 20,000 people dead or missing.

(Agencies)