India's northeast shaken by quake

Northeast India was shaken by a shallow 5.4-magnitude earthquake on Friday, sending people fleeing into the streets in panic, but there were no reports of any major damage or casualties.

The quake measured 5.4 on the Richter scale, an official at the Indian Meteorological Department told AFP in New Delhi.

The epicentre was in Guwahati, the main commercial city of the state of Assam, the official said.

People rushed in fear into the streets when the tremor struck.

Some cracks appeared in buildings but there were no reports of any other significant damage or casualties.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) measured the magnitude of the quake at 5.3 and said that it struck at 12:41 GMT or 18:31 local time.

The quake was shallow with a depth of 11 kilometers (six miles), the USGS said.

In September 2011, a powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked northeastern India, killing eight people, including five who died in tremors that rocked neighbouring Nepal.

India's seven northeastern states, joined to the rest of the country by a narrow sliver of land, are located in an area of frequent seismic activity.

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