Monday, 19 September 2011

Sikkim hit by powerful earthquake

This Sunday Sikkim, a state that is dear to the RadicalRoyalist's heart was hit by an earthquake. A powerful earthquake hit the Sikkim-Nepal border with a magnitude of 6.8 at 6.10 p.m. local time, leaving at least 17 persons dead and more than 100 injured, besides causing extensive damage to buildings and roads.

The epicentre was about 69 km northwest of Sikkim's capital Gangtok, 119 km north-northwest of Siliguri (India) and 272 km east of Kathmandu (Nepal).

Of the deaths, seven occurred in Sikkim, five in Nepal, three in the Darjeeling hills of West Bengal and two in Bihar, according to reports received here.

Among the victims in Sikkim, two died at Singtham in East district, two in Rishi in West district and one at Mangan in North district, Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso said in Gangtok. Two Indian army jawans were killed in north Sikkim, and three army vehicles including one with Indian army personnel were reported missing.

In Sikkim, there were also reports of landslips as it was raining, and power supply was seriously disrupted. Mobile phone services were not functioning and only BSNL lines were working.

In Nepal, three of five deaths occurred outside the British Embassy in Kathmandu when a high brick wall collapsed.

After the earthquake, the Siliguri-Gangtok road has been blocked and 10 Army Engineering columns have been deployed to open it for moving rescue and relief and other engineering equipment to the region.

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