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Strong earthquake jolts Delhi, neighbouring areas

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A strong earthquake jolted many parts of Delhi and surrounding areas late tonight, forcing thousands of panic-stricken people to run outdoors as a precautionary measure.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the quake was of slight intensity and measured 4.2 on the Richter scale.

The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 28.6 degrees North and longitude 77 degrees East, near Sonipat on the Delhi-Haryana border, occurred at 2328 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the IMD said.

The tremors, which lasted for a few seconds, were felt in several areas of Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Faridabad and Gurgaon in Haryana and even farther away and thousands of people rushed out of their homes.

Though the IMD said the quake was mild in intensity, people in and around the capital thought it was much stronger, perhaps, because of the proximity to its epicentre.

Many people had already gone to bed and ran out in their night dress and stayed out for a long time, too scared to go back. There were, however, no reports of any damage to life or property.

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