19 Sep 2011

6.8 earthquake in Himalayas

10:58 am on 19 September 2011

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake has occurred in a remote area in Nepal and northern parts of India.

It was centred about 60km west of Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, at a depth of 10km.

The death toll is now at least 16. Five of those killed were in Nepal.

Officials said at least two people died in the states of Sikkim and Bihar.

The BBC reports three people died in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, when a wall collapsed at the British embassy compound. One was a child.

Kathmandu is 270km west of the epicentre.

Sikkim is India's least populous state, located in the Himalayas between Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet.

The initial quake was followed by two strong aftershocks.

Several minor earthquakes have hit the region this year, but none have caused major damage.