The M6.7 earthquake of January 4, 2016 struck at 04:35 am IST with its epicenter located in the Tamenglong district of Manipur about 30 km west of the state capital Imphal. The earthquake was strongly felt in all northeastern states of India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. The worst affected regions are Imphal, Tamenglong, Noney and Thoubal. A few aftershocks of magnitude less than 4.0 were also felt within a day of the main shock. A part of the north-east India, especially Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram also experienced intense shaking during this earthquake. Eight people have been reported to die in India and five in Bangladesh, and nearly 200 people were injured.
Prof. Durgesh C Rai (IIT Kanpur), Dr. Hemant B Kaushik (IIT Guwahati) and Dr. Vaibhav Singhal (IIT Patna) undertook a reconnaissance survey of the earthquake affected regions during January 14 to January 17, 2016 and visited Imphal and adjoining areas.
Unexpected severe damage at an intensity of VI in Imphal was observed in buildings, such as, residential apartments of central agriculture university at Lamphelpat, a 3-storey building in Keishampat (Fig. 1), New Market and Laxmi Market in Imphal (Fig. 2), and a 4-storey building in Dewlahland. It was surprising to observe that publicly funded buildings, which are supposedly designed and constructed properly under strict technical supervision, also performed poorly. For example, damage to two new buildings, New Market and Laxmi Market, in women’s Ima Keithel Market Complex left large number of vendors without facilities to conduct their business (Fig. 2).