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Massive quake hits Nepal, shakes India

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu/Delhi 

A strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale shook Nepal and several provinces in India, including the national capital, leaving a trail of devastation in the Himalayan nation.

The temblor that occurred at 11:41 am IST, with its epicentre in Nepal, flattened houses, caused huge craters and cracks on roads in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, and sent people scampering out of their offices and homes.

Videos showed people being pulled out of the rubble of collapsed houses in Kathmandu, though there was no official word on fatalities.

The US Geological Survey, which had earlier put the intensity of the quake at 7.5 on Richter Scale, revised it to 7.9. It said the quake hit at 11:56 am local time at Lamjung, a shallow depth of 11 kilometres.

Tremors were felt in several provinces in northern, eastern and northeastern parts of India, including national capital New Delhi, over 1100 kilometres from the Nepalese capital.

According to Indian Meteoroligical Department, tremors were felt in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab, lasting for a minute, triggering panic and forcing people to rush out of their homes and offices.

There was no official word about casualties from any of the states but reports from West Bengal said cracks appeared in several multi-storeyed buildings in Siliguri in north Bengal. An incident of wall collapse was reported from Telipara in Jalpaiguri district.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is keeping a close watch on the situation, spoke to chief ministers of Bihar and Sikkim.

"We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal," he tweeted immediately after the temblor hit several places in India and the neighbouring country.

First Published: Sat, April 25 2015. 14:13 IST