A strong 6.9 magnitude earthquake has shaken northeastern India, Nepal and other parts of the region, killing at least eight people, damaging buildings and causing panic.
The quake was centered in the Indian state of Sikkim, about 60 kilometers northwest of the regional capital, Gangtok. Witnesses say it damaged buildings in the city and sent residents into the streets. Authorities say two people were killed in Sikkim and one person died in the neighboring Indian state of Bihar. The quake also cut electricity and phone lines and triggered landslides in several Indian states.
Five people were killed in Nepal, including three in the capital, Katmandu, where many people ran out of buildings.
A Bangladesh-based reporter for VOA’s Bangla service says the quake also caused cracks in some buildings in the capital, Dhaka.
Indian authorities recorded two strong aftershocks. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered to send help to the affected areas in the country’s northeast. The Indian air force also sent five planes to help with rescue efforts.