M5.6 Earthquake Rocks North-East Indian State of Assam Near Bhutan Border

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An earthquake of magnitude 5.6 has rocked the north-east Indian state of Assam, which shares the border with the landlocked mountainous country of Bhutan. This has been confirmed by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on their website tracking geological tremors and tectonic shifts around the world. The local time in India at the time of the earthquake was June 28, 2015, at 06:35 a.m. which is 1:05 a.m. Universal time on June 28, 2015. Tremors were also felt in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, with major trembling sensations. More information about the damages, injuries or loss of civilian life is expected as the day breaks.

The epicenter of the earthquake was close to 14 miles (23 km) North of Basugaon, India. It should be noted that the epicenter was close to 17 miles (27 km) North-West of Bongaigaon, India, and 21 miles (33 km) North, North-East of Kokrajhar in the state of Assam, India. As per the USGS, the exact geographic coordinates of the epicenter sits at 26.680N, 90.389E and the depth of the quake was measured at 6.2 miles (10 km).

The epicenter of this quake is in the vicinity as the disastrous M7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015. It has also been explained that the aftershocks of a massive earthquake could be felt after many months. The entire region neighboring the Himalayan mountains has been experiencing a lot of tectonic movements in recent past. It has been reported that the Himalayan mountain range is considered to be the most newly formed mountain range in the world, at about 50 million years ago. The Himalayan mountain range and the Tibetan plateau were a result of the constant collision between the Indian and the Eurasian plate. With the onset of rains across the Indian sub-continent, any rescue work would be extremely challenging as the state of Assam is the receiver of one of the highest amount of rainfall.

By Ankur Sinha

U.S. Geological Survey

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