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Second Quake Strikes Border District

January 1, 1985

NEW DELHI, India (AP) _ Communication lines knocked down by an earthquake hampered efforts to bring help Tuesday to a remote district near Bangladesh where an estimated 10,000 people were left homeless by the temblor, reports said.

Official reports have said the quake on Monday killed about 20 people and injured about 100 in Cachar, a densely populated Bengali-speaking district, 310 miles northeast of Calcutta, in Assam state, in northeastern India.

A less powerful earthquake jarred the same area on Tuesday, but no damage was immediately reported from the second temblor.

United News of India said disruption in telecommunications isolated Cachar, making it difficult to assess the extent of damage there.

A state government spokesman said on Tuesday that senior officials had been sent to Cachar to determine how many people died.

The quake on Monday leveled mud-and-thatch homes and washed out embankments along River Socai, triggering flash floods, according to United News of India. Many villages reportedly were inundated.

Authorities suspended road traffic after the collapse of five bridges across the Socai, the news agency said.

The government television network reported that six people injured by the quake were in critical condition in the Silchar Medical College Hospital, in the main city in the area.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi said the government would help the homeless and pay compensation to the victims.

Monday’s quake was registered at 6.0 on the Richter Scale by Indian scientists. The scale is a measure of ground motion as recorded by a seismograph.

The quake on Tuesday was measured at 3.0 on the scale, the Central Seismological Observatory in Shillong reported.

Update hourly