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There have been unconfirmed reports of 6 casualties and buildings being damaged.
Strong tremors were felt in parts of North and East India after an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale shook Sikkim this evening. The epicentre of the quake is said to be just 64 kilometres North-West of Gangtok. Tremors were felt in Lucknow, Patna, Kolkata, New Delhi and the National Capital Region. Many buildings in Sikkim have developed cracks, including the Sikkim Manipal University building. There is no electricity in Gangtok and Darjeeling. Telephone lines have also snapped in some parts of Sikkim; phone lines are congested in West Bengal. Small Army columns in Sikkim have also been mobilised post the earthquake. - NDTV.
At least a dozen houses collapsed in this Sikkim capital Sunday due to a 6.9 earthquake which jolted large parts of eastern and northern India, witnesses said. "At least a dozen houses houses have collapsed. There could be injuries to people as well but phone lines are down," journalist Prakash Adhikari said. The damage could be more severe on the outskirts of Sikkim as the quake's epicentre was on the Sikkim-Nepal border region. In Assam's major city Guwahati, people panicked and ran out on the streets after the quake shook their houses. According to the India Meteorological Department, the quake struck at 6.11 p.m. Seismologists consider the Indian northeast to be the sixth most earthquake-prone belt in the world. - Bhaskar.
A magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit a remote area in northeastern India on Sunday evening, killing at least two people and damaging buildings and blocking roads, as well as killing four in neighboring Nepal, officials said. One child died in Sikkim state, the epicenter of the earthquake, and another person died in Bihar state as a result of a stampede sparked by the quake, CNN-IBN broadcaster said. The Himalayan region is prone to landslides and many high-rise buildings have come up in Sikkim's mountain towns over the last few years of economic boom. There were concerns that the toll could rise as information arrived from remote areas. In neighboring Nepal, four people died. "Four people were injured when a wall collapsed after the quake. All of them were rushed to hospital but 3 died during treatment," said Kedar Rijal, the chief of Kathmandu police. Several buildings collapsed in Sikkim's capital Gangtok, and widespread power cuts were reported across the northeastern state, television channels said. There were also reports of landslides in Sikkim and West Bengal state. Several Indian Air Force jets with personnel and equipment were immediately dispatched to Sikkim. The U.S. Geological Survey said on its website the quake was centered 64 km (40 miles) north west of Gangtok, capital of Sikkim. It was 10 km (6.2 miles) deep. "Cracks have developed in some buildings in Gangtok. Most phone lines are down and there is no electricity now. People have come out on the street," said Gangtok resident Bobby Dahal. "It is too early to ascertain any damage. We are trying to get in touch with the state government of Sikkim to know if they need any help from us," Sujata Saunail, joint secretary of he National Disaster Management Authority, told Reuters. Sikkim is India's least populous state, located in the Himalayas between Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The quake was felt all the way to Bangladesh, shaking buildings in the capital and neighboring areas. At least 10 people were injured and some buildings suffered minor damages. Thousands of panic-stricken families in Dhaka ran out of high-rise buildings on to the streets as the ground under their feet shook. "I never experiences such a dreadful moment in my life. Suddenly lights went off and there was people running and crying around," said Shamsul Islam, a 70-year-old man in Chittagong port city in Bangladesh. Several earthquakes have hit north and east India this year, but none have caused major damage or injuries. - LA. Times.
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WATCH: IBN News coverage of the aftermath of the earthquake.
According to the USGS, the tectonic summary of that region are as follows:
September 18, 2011 Sikkim, India earthquake occurred near the boundary between the India and Eurasia plates, in the mountainous region of northeast India near the Nepalese boarder. Initial analyses suggest the earthquake was complex, likely a result of two events occurring close together in time at depths of approximately 20 km beneath the Earth's surface. At the latitude of the September 18 earthquake, the India plate converges with Eurasia at a rate of approximately 46 mm/yr towards the north-northeast. The broad convergence between these two plates has resulted in the uplift of the Himalayas, the world's tallest mountain range. The preliminary focal mechanism of the earthquake suggests strike slip faulting, and thus an intraplate source within the upper Eurasian plate or the underlying India plate, rather than occurring on the thrust interface plate boundary between the two. This region has experienced relatively moderate seismicity in the past, with 18 earthquakes of M 5 or greater over the past 35 years within 100 km of the epicenter of the September 18 event. The largest of these was a M 6.1 earthquake in November of 1980, 75 km to the southeast.