Seven killed in Bhutan quake

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountain nation of Bhutan today, killing at least seven people when their houses collapsed and damaging buildings across the region, officials said.

The afternoon earthquake was initially reported in Gauhati, the capital of India’s north-eastern Assam state, but it was centred in a little-populated eastern region of the tiny nation.

Much of Bhutan is sparsely populated, reachable only by walking paths and without electricity or telephones.

“We’re trying to piece together information to assess the damage,” Ugyen Tenzing, the country’s director of disaster management said from Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.

He said at least seven people were killed when their houses collapsed in the eastern districts of Munggar and Trashigang, and rescuers were searching for survivors under the debris of other buildings. He had no further details.

Most buildings in that region are small farmhouses made of mud and stone with tin roofs.

The US Geological Survey reported the quake’s magnitude as 6.3 and said it was centred about 80 miles north of Gauhati and 115 miles east of Thimphu at a depth of 4.5 miles.

The region has been hit by major earthquakes in the past, including in 1950 and 1897. Assam has been shaken by a series of small quakes in recent weeks.

The quake briefly rocked Bhutan’s capital and was also felt in Bangladesh and Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, but there were no signs of further damage in either place.

More in this Section

Boris Johnson says testing will ‘unlock the coronavirus puzzle’Boris Johnson says testing will ‘unlock the coronavirus puzzle’

Pakistani court overturns Briton’s conviction over murder of US journalistPakistani court overturns Briton’s conviction over murder of US journalist

New York virus toll doubles in 72 hours as global infections near a millionNew York virus toll doubles in 72 hours as global infections near a million

Coronavirus: Donald Trump says British ship passengers to be flown homeCoronavirus: Donald Trump says British ship passengers to be flown home


Lifestyle

Another great aspect of being able to roam around Phoenix Park is the abundance of wild garlic, which flourishes throughout the great expanse.The Currabinny Cooks: going wild with garlic

Dyed purple hair, fake tattoos ... Ophelia Lovibond certainly went against type for her latest role.Succes from Failure: Ophelia Lovibond certainly goes against type for latest role

Keeping plants like lupins and delphiniums happy now will pay off this summer, says Peter DowdallPeter Dowdall: Embark on a perennial quest

Three figures with roles in the Cork band’s trajectory tell Ellie O’Byrne about the legend-in-the-making that was sadly never to be.B-Side the Leeside: Nun Attax and the Knocknaheeny Shuffle

More From The Irish Examiner