News & Updates

Region Affected: The strongest shaking occurred to the west in Gangtok and further south in Siliguri in Darjeeling district of India. Lighter tremors spread southward through populous regions, with these motions reported in the Patna capital of Bihar and as far southwest as Bihar Sharif. In all, the earthquake was felt in Nepal, India, Bhutan and China. Tremors were felt in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, parts of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Delhi states of India and in Tibet. The earthquake could be felt in Shigatse and Lhasa also.
Geology: The magnitude 6.9 earthquake occurred inland at 18:10 IST on 18 September 2011, about 68 kilometers  north west of Gangtok in Sikkim at a depth of 19.7 kilometers. At its latitude, the continental Indian and Eurasian Plates converge with one another to produce a tectonic boundary beneath the mountainous region of northeast India near the Nepalese border. 
Located at a shallow depth beneath the surface, the earthquake caused strong shaking in many areas adjacent to its epicenter reportedly lasting 30 – 40 seconds.
Sikkim: Death toll due to Sunday evening's earthquake in Sikkim rose to 35. National Highway 31 A linking Sikkim capital Gangtok to Bagdogra in West Bengal has been opened for one - way traffic by a team of Army and Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel.Rescue and relief teams including those belonging to the National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF), were stranded as the highway was blocked. Two MI-17 helicopters have drop off NDRF teams at Lachung and Mangan. Rescue team are stranded due to landslides at more than 25 locations. Army teams are trying to clear the roads.
North Sikkim, the epicentre of the quake, is still cut off from rest of the country and casualties are expected to rise once relief teams reach the area. Power has been restored to Gangtok, but North Sikkim is still without power.
Peoples Republic of China: Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua reported that at least seven persons have been killed and 22 others injured in Tibet in the quake which has caused landslides and has disrupted traffic, power and water supplies as well as telecommunication in Yadong County, an area 40 km away from Sikkim. 
Bhutan: At least 11 people are dead after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountain country of Bhutan on Monday, collapsing houses and damaging buildings across the region.
The quake, which struck in the afternoon, was initially reported in Gauhati, the capital of the northeastern Indian state of Assam. But its centre was in a little-populated eastern region of Bhutan.
The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3 and was centred about 125 kilometres north of Gauhati and 180 kilometres east of Thimphu, at a depth of about 7.2 kilometres, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report Monday. The quake was initially registered at 6.3 magnitude, but the U.S. Geological Survey - which measures earthquakes around the world - later revised the magnitude to 6.1. 
"We're trying to piece together information to assess the damage," said Ugyen Tenzing, the country's director of disaster management.
Thimpu - Phuentsholling road is blocked due to the quake. Work is on to restore the Highway link with India. A number of monasteries and dzongs - Bhutanese forts were damaged.
Nepal: A strong earthquake shook northeastern India and Nepal on Sunday night, killing at least 16 people, damaging buildings and sending legislators in Nepal's capital city Kathmandu.
Three people died when a wall of the British Embassy collapsed. Those dead included a motorcyclist and his eight-year-old child who were struck as they rode past, police said. Two others died in Dharan in Sunsari district, including a five year old child, according to the the Himalayan Times newspaper.
Lawmakers in parliament hurried out of the building shouting when the quake struck in the middle of a debate on the budget, witnesses said.
West Bengal: At least six people were killed and over 20 injured in West Bengal’s northern districts following the earthquake that jolted large parts of northern and eastern India. The powerful quake, with its epicentre in adjoining Sikkim was followed by two aftershocks after 6 P M on Sunday. The National Highway 31 A was blocked due to landslides cutting off the state’s road link with the outside world.Many buildings developed cracks and the neighbouring Himalayan state of Sikkim was cut-off from north Bengal by landslides triggered by the tremors in Darjeeling’s Kalimpong and Kurseong hill sub-divisions.
The National Highway 31 developed a major crack between Maynaguri and Lataguri area in the district. Power supply was disrupted in areas near Sikkim — Kalimpong, adjoining Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts. A sub-station was damaged in Siliguri but the supply was restored late Sunday.
Weather officials have warned of more landslides in the Darjeeling hills. “There may also be aftershocks,” said G.C. Debnath, director of the Regional Meteorological Centre, Kolkata.

Posted on: 19 Sep, 2011

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