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Sikkim quake: Toll increases, many still trapped

The toll in Sikkim following Sunday's powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake rose to 18 Monday, an official said here.

The high-intensity quake was followed by two after-shocks and had its epicentre on the Sikkim-Nepal border.

Tens of thousands scurried out of their homes just after 6 p.m. on Sunday in numerous cities including New Delhi following the powerful tremor that was quickly followed by two major aftershocks.

The number of those injured in the earthquake crossed 200 as reports came in here from different areas.

Sikkim has been cut off from the rest of the country with the national highway 31-A blocked in at least eight places following heavy mudslides, said G. Anandan, district magistrate, Sikkim East.

As many as 25 concrete bridges were damaged between Siliguri and Gangtok on the 120 km long national highway 31-A, he said.

The Sikkim secretariat also developed cracks, he added.

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