Bhadarwah (J&K): An earthquake of 3.9 magnitude hit the snow-bound valley in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda district on Sunday, triggering panic among the local residents.
However, there was no report of loss of lives or damage to property from anywhere, Sub-Divisional Police Officer Aadil Rishu said.
The earthquake struck around 4.34 am and lasted for 12 seconds, officials said.
An official at the local Meteorological (MeT) Department said the epicentre of the quake was 4.3 km North-East of Bhadarwah town in the foothills of Ashapati and Kailash glaciers.
The tremor was also felt in the adjoining areas of Bhaderwah, including parts of Bhalessa and Marmat, forcing panic-stricken people to rush out of their homes despite sub-zero temperatures, he said.
“The low intensity tremors have become a routine in the Bhaderwah Valley since last five years but the latest earthquake was more frightening as all the surrounding hills, including the mighty Ashapati Glacier and Kailash are packed with maximum snow, posing a threat of avalanche,” Social Worker Imtiaz-Ur-Rehman Butt said.
Neeraj Sharma of the Institute of Mountain Environment of Bhadarwah Campus of the Jammu University said the possibility of avalanches during tremors, especially in non-vegetated areas like Padri, Chattar Gali, Thanhala and Basti, cannot be ruled out.
“There is massive loose blanket of snow and it can come down during the earthquake when there is no hindrance or obstruction of trees,” he said.