Huge Earthquake Strikes India and Nepal. Several Killed

At least 16 people were killed when a 6.9 magnitude struck northeastern India and Nepal at 6:10 PM local time on Sunday. Among those killed included three people who were crushed after a wall collapsed at the British embassy in Kathmandu. The earthquake was the strongest in twenty years and set off landslides, collapsed buildings and caused blackouts in the affected regions. From the NYT:

“TV stations reported buckled buildings, cracked pavement and two major roads collapsed in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim state, about 42 miles southeast of the epicenter. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police said two of its buildings in the city had collapsed, and electricity and telephone service in the area was disrupted. The Indian army said it had sent teams of soldiers fanning out across the city and other large towns in Sikkim to search for people trapped in rubble, and the air forcec said it had sent rescue aircraft to the region. Broken power lines blacked out larger Indian cities further south, like Darjeeling and Kalimpong, according to Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal state.”