Fact-Check: Earthquake in Srinagar, not a blast; divided opinion in valley

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Reuters

Panic struck Srinagar residents as strong jolts rocked the valley. While the ESMC, independent organization that tracks real-time earthquakes, confirmed it was an earthquake that hit Srinagar, many speculated that it was a bomb that went off.

The claim

Many residents of Srinagar shared reference to a letter about disposing over 100kgs of bomb as the reason behind the strong jolts felt in the city. In the said letter, residents were advised to stay indoors during the practice demolition of 100-120kgs bomb. “This is a planned exercise and part of essential training activity,” read the advisory.

Earthquake in Srinagar

Fact check

Contrary to what many Srinagar residents are speculating, ESMC confirmed that it was an earthquake and the agency even shared the map of where the jolts occurred based on reports. “20 min shaking was reported in the area of Srinagar (map above represents eyewitnesses report). We have no reason not to believe it is an earthquake at this stage. It is likely below M4.5-5 otherwise we’d have located it already,” ESMC tweeted.

Earthquake in Srinagar

Another major giveaway is the letter itself, which clearly gives a different date.

The Air Force Station letter for “practice demolition of 100-120kg bomb” was scheduled between August 30 and September 6, 2020. The residents of villages Gogoo, Lalgaon, Ompora and other nearby areas were asked to stay indoors from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on August 30, 2020 and on September 6, 2020. This clearly doesn’t coincide with the jolts felt today.

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