News Flash – 21 June 2019

National News



4.8 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Satara Region



Pune: Parts of the Satara region recorded their first earthquake of a magnitude greater than 4.5 on the Richter scale in over seven years. This was followed by an aftershock around 7.47am on Thursday. While the earthquake was of 4.8 magnitude, the aftershock was of magnitude 3. However, no loss of life or property has been reported. The earthquake occurred around 20km from the Koyna dam in Satara, India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials told TOI. The depth of the first shock was 10 km below the earth’s surface. Officials said this was the first earthquake of such magnitude to have occurred in this part of Satara in some years. In the past seven years, earthquakes of magnitude between 1 and 4.5 have been recorded in this region. The epicenter was considerably distant from the Koyna dam, which is usually a hotspot for earthquakes. This was also the first quake in Satara in 2019. As per IMD, the coordinates for the quake are 17.3°N 73.8°E. Since the beginning of 2019, Palghar has been the only location in the state affected by a series of earthquakes. Officials from the IMD’S seismology department said the aftershock, which originated at a depth of 5km below the earth’s surface, was felt around 8.27am. “The aftershock was relatively shallow. Data over the past few years has shown that though one earthquake on an average affects this location each year, quakes with a magnitude of 4 or more are less common here,” an official said.



In 2012, the location had recorded an earthquake of 4.9 magnitude. In 2013, 2015 and 2016, no earthquakes were recorded in this region. Also, in the past seven years, the epicenter has remained almost the same, IMD officials said. “Earthquakes between 1 and 5 magnitudes are termed light, while those from 5.1 to 6.9 magnitude are termed moderate. Thursday’s tremor was a light one. Preliminary investigations revealed that the quake could have occurred due to a fault line in the tectonic plates in the crust. The fault line in question could have been the one extending from the Koyna region or one that has developed somewhere in this region itself where the tremors were felt,” the official said. The official said that as tectonic plates shift constantly, the stress build-up can increase at times, activating a fault line. This can cause tremors in a region. As per theory, the Indo-Australian Plate a major tectonic plate that includes the continent of Australia and surrounding ocean, extending northwest to include the Indian subcontinent and adjacent waters is constantly in motion. The average speed at which this plate moves is 4.8cm to 5.2cm annually though the velocity is not uniform, an IMD official said. Meanwhile, an official from the Satara disaster management authority said that the Koynanagar observatory scaled Thursday’s earthquake at 3.7 magnitude. “Also, as per our observations, the epicenter was not in Satara, but in Devrukh village in Sangameshwar taluka of Ratnagiri district,” he added.



Firemen Save 100 lives from Blaze in Pitampura Building


New Delhi: For the second time in the past two days, firefighters saved the lives of around 100 people and a pet dog after a major fire broke out in a residential society in northwest Delhi’s Pitampura early on Thursday. Chief fire officer of Delhi Fire Service, Atul Garg, said they were informed about the incident at 1.10am from Tower Heights Apartments in QD-Block, Pitampura. When the firemen reached there, they noticed smoke and fire billowing out from the fifth floor of the 10-storey building. People on the top floors were trapped. The intensity of the fire was raised to Make 6 category from Make 4 and additional fire tenders and Bronto cranes were sent to the spot. Avtar Singh, a DFS officer, said the fire had started in a flat on the fifth floor. However, smoke had engulfed the entire passageway and the staircase, blocking the escape route. “People had panicked and gone to the terrace. We went in and started bringing down women and children one by one. We assured the people on the terrace that things were under control before bringing them down,” Singh said. The fire safety equipment of the society was found defunct, which prolonged the rescue operation.



By 3.15am, the blaze was brought under control. Most of the residents had also been rescued by then. The fire was completely doused by 3.20am and the cooling operation continued till dawn. A probe has revealed that the fire started after an air conditioner in a flat malfunctioned. The blaze quickly spread through the woodwork. Later, firemen went up with the help of the Bronto cranes and scanned the entire building to check if anyone was still trapped. All 100 residents were accounted for. The firemen also played hero to a puppy who was trapped in the flat. They broke open the doors and safely rescued the canine. A woman survivor said they were lucky that the fire was noticed in time by a few residents. “When the smoke started to come out of the flat, some people out for a walk raised an alarm. They and the security guards then started ringing the doorbells of all the flats to alert the occupants about the fire,” she added.



CCTV Cameras Help Locals nab Thief



Chennai: Residents of Vysarpadi nabbed a thief on Thursday with the help of CCTV camera footage. Police said after a spike in burglaries, residents decided to form groups of youths to monitor houses. They also installed CCTV cameras across the locality. On Wednesday night, a house at BV Colony was burgled. After the incident came to light, the residents checked CCTV camera footage and found a man entering the house. The procured an image from the footage and tracked him to a rented house at MKB Nagar. The man, identified as Sahul, 20, was then handed over to the police. Police found 10 phones and jewellery in his possession. The ornaments however were ‘imitation’ jewellery. Police said Sahul had rented the house to target houses whose owners had gone on a vacation.

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