Sunday, September 18, 2011

India 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake 9 Dead, (4 Nepal, 5 India) - 18th Sept 2011

Nine people -- five in Nepal and four in India -- died Sunday when a magnitude-6.9 earthquake struck the northern Indian state of Sikkim near the border between the two nations Sunday night, police said.

Three died in Nepal's capital of Kathmandu and two in the town of Dharan, about 217 miles east of Kathmandu, police said in a statement. Among the dead were a woman and child, authorities said. About a dozen people were injured when they jumped from their houses during the quake, police said.

In India, four people died and 33 were injured, said Karma Gyatso, Sikkim's chief secretary. At least two buildings have collapsed, and others developed cracks, he said. The damage was still being assessed, and rescue efforts were under way, he said.

A total of three quakes struck the region. The U.S. Geological Survey initially put the largest quake at 6.8 magnitude, later upgrading it to a 6.9, and the other two at magnitudes 4.8 and 4.6. All three occurred within an hour and 15 minutes, the USGS said. The India Meteorological Department said the quakes were 6.8 magnitude, 5.7 magnitude and 5.3 magnitude.

The quakes were in the country's mountainous region near the Nepal border, the department said.

Power outages and downed phone lines were reported in Sikkim, along with reports of landslides and blocked roads, authorities said.

Emergency crews were dispatched from different locations to the region, India's home ministry said in an alert to reporters. At least four fighter jets were carrying rescue officers to a neighboring region, where they travel by road to Gangtok, Sikkim's capital, according to the alert. Source