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RMS : earthquake struck Sikkim, India

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The region of Sikkim in India was struck by a magnitude 6.9 (moment magnitude) earthquake on Sunday. The USGS have released a depth estimate of 12.2 miles (and an epicentral location approximately 42 miles northwest of Gangtok, Sikkim, India; 169 miles east of Kathmandu, Nepal; and 355 miles north of Calcutta, West Bengal, India. The earthquake was felt as far away as New Delhi, India, where thousands of people evacuated their homes.

According to the USGS ShakeMap, the maximum intensity ground shaking near the epicenter was VII (‘strong ‘) on the Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scale, which has the potential to cause moderate to heavy damage to vulnerable structures. According to the USGS PAGER, over 200,000 people were exposed to such shaking, with a further 1.6 million people exposed to intensity VI shaking, including the cities of Shiliguri and Gangtok, India.

The earthquake occurred near the border of Nepal and the Tibetan region, and at least 38 fatalities and over 100 injuries have been reported: 26 of the fatalities have been reported from India, 5 in Nepal and 7 in Tibet. Several buildings are reported to have partially or fully collapsed contributing to the death toll, with large cracks reported in several other buildings. Roads in the region have also reportedly suffered varying degrees of damage. Heavy rainfall and landslides are hampering rescue efforts in the region.

Source : RMS