Quake shakes New Delhi, other parts of north India

NEW DELHI Mon Mar 5, 2012 3:29pm IST

Pigeons fly as clouds gather over New Delhi's Connaught Place July 16, 2009. REUTERS/Buddhika Weerasinghe/Files

Pigeons fly as clouds gather over New Delhi's Connaught Place July 16, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Buddhika Weerasinghe/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A moderate earthquake felt across north India rocked buildings and sent office workers running into the streets in New Delhi at lunchtime on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was about 30 miles (48 km) west of New Delhi. The 5.2 magnitude tremor had a depth of 11.9 miles, the USGS said.

Such quakes rarely cause major damage.

Buildings swayed for about 30 seconds in New Delhi's central business district and many workers abandoned lunch and made for the stairs.

"A colleague and I were talking when we felt the earthquake. We ran down the stairs from our sixth-floor office," said Sonu Soni, 40, an employee with Cisco Systems Inc.

The director of India's Department of Seismology, R.S. Dattatreya, said the quake measured 4.9 on the Richter scale and hit at 13:11 local time (0741 GMT).

"Its epicentre is in Delhi/Haryana border region," he told CNN-IBN television network. "Nothing to worry at this moment."

(Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Satarupa Bhattacharjya and Matthias Williams; editing by Malini Menon)

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