Earthquake of magnitude 6.8 hits north-eastern India and Nepal, damaging buildings, injuring over 100 and spreading panic among the people

At least 11 people were killed and nearly 100 injured yesterday as a 6.8 intensity earthquake violently hit the Sikkim-Nepal border region, jolting large parts of India, Bangladesh and Nepal too.

Shaken to the core: Nepalese rescue volunteers stand on the rubble of
the compound wall of the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

Tens of thousands scurried out of their homes just after 6 pm in numerous cities including New Delhi following the powerful tremor that was quickly followed by two major aftershocks. The India Meteorological Department said the epicentre of the quake was on the Sikkim-Nepal border.

PM Manmohan Singh immediately convened a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority. The Indian Air Force flew five cargo planes with relief material and rescue personnel for deployment in West Bengal and Sikkim, which accounted for three deaths.

Men inspect a damaged temple minaret in Siliguri after the earthquake.
Tremors of the earthquake were felt in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand,
Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram

One of the dead was a child, officials in Gangtok said. Another man died when his vehicle was trapped in a massive mudslide on the outskirts of Gangtok.

At least five people were killed in Nepal, three of them in Kathmandu alone. The British embassy in Kathmandu collapsed after the quake, smashing a car and killing three people inside.

Dozens were injured as houses crashed across the country, snapping communication lines. Across India, buildings shook triggering panic almost all over northern and eastern India, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram.

A man points to a crack in the wall of his home in Sikkim in the
earthquake yesterday. pics/afp

"I was watching TV and for a few seconds thought my head was spinning. When I realised it was an earthquake, I ran out," said Meenakshi Sinha, who lives on the seventh floor of an apartment complex in Noida.

Four in one month

>> The first quake in Indiain Sept was reported in Manipur's Ukhrul district on September 4, and its intensity was 4.2.

>> The second, on September 7, was also of low 4.2 intensity and epicentred in Haryana's Sonepat region. The tremors were felt in Delhi and most of north India.

>> The third on September 11 was epicentred in Gujarat's Kutch region, but its intensity was a mere 3.4

>>The 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Sikkim last evening was the fourth tremor

The number of people who have been injured in Nepal

30-40 sec
The duration the tremors lasted in Delhi

Number of Indian Air Force planes pressed into service

Total number of quakes felt in the region since 2009

Did you know?
The Bihar earthquake in 1934 is the largest-ever earthquake recorded in mainland India recording 8.7 on the Richter scale

The largest-ever earthquake recorded in the world is the one in Chile on May 22, 1960 recording 9.5 on the Richter scale