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6.8 earthquake hits Sikkim, tremors felt across India

By K Anurag
Last updated on: September 18, 2011 21:03 IST
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Strong tremors were felt across North and East India after an earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale rocked Sikkim on Sunday evening at 6.10 pm. The quake also jolted Bangladesh and Nepal for over a minute.

Five people were reportedly killed in Nepal and one child succummed to his injuries in Gangtok. Extensive damage has been reported from Sikkim, especially in Magan -- 54 km from Gangtok -- which is the epicenter of the quake.

Roads were blocked, power supply affected and mobile phone network was disrupted in the northeast immediately after the earthquake.

Three aftershocks, of magnitude 5.7, 5.1 and 4.6 were also felt in Sikkim, says the India Meteorological Department.

"We call it a strong earthquake on the basis of its magnitude," a Bangladesh met office spokesman told PTI adding that the epicentre of the tremor was in the Indian state Sikkim and according to Pacific Tsunami Warning Center the coordinates were 27.8 north and 88.2 east.

Panic-stricken people came rushing out their homes after they felt the tremors. Windowpanes were shattered in many high-rise residential buildings in Guwahati. Many buildings

in the state have developed cracks, including the Sikkim Manipal University building.A source from the seismological observatory centre in the North East Institute of Science and Technology at Jorhat in Upper Assam said that the earthquake created turbulence in the River Brahmaputra near Majuli River Island in Upper Assam. 
The tremor was also felt in various parts of Bihar, a Patna report said. As buildings shook, people rushed out of their houses and took refuge in open places.

A report from Darbhanga district in north Bihar said the quake was felt there too. Neighbouring Jharkhand also felt the shock, according to a Ranchi report.

"We saw computers, chairs and tables rattling in our office," said Manu Singh and Binod Singh, who were among those who rushed out in the open. People in Sahebganj and Giridih also experienced the tremor.

In the north, besides the national capital, the tremors were felt in Jaipur and nearby areas of Rajasthan.
Panic gripped people in Lucknow and some other places in Uttar Pradesh where the quake was also felt. The tremors were felt in Mau, Azamgarh, Deoria, Ballia and other towns.

With inputs from PTI

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K Anurag in Guwahati