New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday expressed "deep distress" over the loss of lives and the destruction due to the strong earthquake that jolted the north eastern states this morning and asked its Chief Ministers in the region to ensure immediate relief and rescue operations.
"Sonia Gandhi has expressed deep distress at the reported deaths and destruction caused by the earthquake in North Eastern States," a party statement said.
At least five persons were killed and over 50 injured as a strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake with epicentre in Manipur today hit the northeastern region, causing damage to many buildings and spreading panic.
Gandhi has asked Congress Chief Ministers in the region to ensure immediate relief and rescue operations besides asking the party's units and front organisations to assist in the relief works, it said.
Meanwhile, party vice President Rahul Gandhi also urged his party workers and members of the other affiliated organisations to help the earthquake-hit people of Manipur and other north-eastern states.
"I urge Congress workers, @IYC (Indian Youth Congress) and @nsui (National Students Union of India) volunteers to extend all possible help to people in this time of need," Gandhi said on the micro blogging site Twitter.
"My thoughts & prayers are with the people of Manipur and other north eastern states affected by the earthquake this morning," he tweeted.