A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck northeast India, near the border with Nepal, on Sunday evening. Within minutes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had spoken with Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling.
At least a dozen people have reportedly been killed by the quake, which was centred around Sikkim. Some buildings in the area have reportedly suffered extensive damage, with the region having been rocked by a number of aftershocks following the initial, 30-second-long temblor at 6.10 pm. Singh offered the central government’s assistance and directed the cabinet secretary to prioritize relief operations for the border state. An emergency meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority was still in progress at the time of this report.
The quake was felt as far away as parts of north and east India, despite the epicentre being 64 kilometres northwest of Gangtok. Delhi, Lucknow, Patna and Kolkata were among the major cities that felt the tremors. Today’s earthquake came days after a 4.2 magnitude quake in Haryana’s Sonepat district that was felt in Delhi.