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Sunday, September 18, 2011

6.8 scale quake hits Sikkim, leaves 15 dead, Kolkata and Delhi rattled

Kolkata: An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the Sikkim-Nepal border at 6.10pm on Sunday, killing at least 15 people on both side of the border, according to preliminary reports which suggested the death toll was likely to rise. The quake rattled the entire eastern region—Bengal, the North-Eastern states, Jharkhand and Bihar—and was felt as far 

away as Delhi and Rajasthan. 
    Reports said at least five persons had died in Sikkim, two in and around Darjeeling, one near Siliguri, two in Bihar and five in Nepal, three of them in a wall collapse outside the British embassy in Ka
thmandu. Sixty people were reported injured in Sikkim. 
    With power and communication lines down in Sikkim and Gorkhaland areas, reports were still sketchy for hours after the quake. Scores are feared trapped under 
collapsed buildings in Gangtok, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. 
    "Landslides and house collapses have been reported from various parts of Sikkim. With power lines down, it is difficult to assess the damage at this moment, said A K Singh, district magistrate of South Sikkim. 
    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling, who reportedly described the damage as serious. "Tremors were felt between 30 seconds to one minute in some parts of Sikkim, including Gangtok," Shailesh Nayak, secretary in the earth sciences ministry, said in Delhi. 
    In Kolkata, people ran out of homes, shopping malls and multiplexes which shook violently for several seconds.


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