At least 36 people were today killed and close to 200 injured in various parts of the country in a powerful earthquake, epicentred in Nepal, which destroyed or damaged several houses and buildings.
Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, bordering Nepal, were the worst affected parts of India in the quake measuring 7.9 on Richter Scale.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself monitoring the situation and issuing directives, massive rescue and relief operations were initiated on war-footing basis.
The death toll in various parts of the country is 36, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters here tonight.
Of them, 23 died in Bihar, eight in Uttar Pradesh and five in West Bengal.
133 people were injured in Bihar and 43 in Uttar Pradesh, he said, adding more "sadly" 15 children were injured in West Bengal.
The Prime Minister, who took stock of the situation at a high-level meeting here, directed immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams, including medical staff, to the affected areas.
He also spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Home Secretary L C Goyal said five teams of National Disaster Response Force, comprising 45 personnel each, were dispatched to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for conducting rescue and relief operations.
"Our focus is on rescue operations. The damage assessment will follow in some time," he said.
Rijiju said rescue and relief teams have been sent to Patna, Supaul, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Gopalganj in Bihar and Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.