New Delhi, Sept, 19: A strong earthquake of 6.8 on the Richter scale shocks the northeastern state of Sikkim, entire Indo gangatic plane including eastern Nepal on Sunday evening. The epicentre of the earthquake was located at the Sikkim-Nepal border below 20 km of the surface.
According to the release of US Geological Survey, the epicentre of the quake - which hit at 6.10 pm - was located on the Sikkim-Nepal border, 68 kilometers northwest of Gangtok.
Two aftershocks of 4.8 and 4.6 magnitude also hit Sikkim, minutes after the first quake.
Atleast 8 persons were killed and 45 others received minor injuries in the damage caused by the earthquake.
The earthquake claimed one life at Singtham in East Sikkim district, while another died just outside Singtham, state Chief Secretary Karma Gyatso said.
The maximum damage of property was reported from Mangan in northern Sikkim, which is located close to the epicentre.
Sikkim Chief Secretary told to electronic media thatPower failure and mobile phones have stopped functioning in several areas of the state. .
Reports said the quake triggered landslides in many parts leading to blocking of several roads.
Five IAF planes rushed into action for Sikkim earthquake relief operations.
The consecutive tremors, which lasted for several seconds, were also felt in Assam, parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand,Rajasthan and Delhi.
The earthquake also jolted neighboring country Bangladesh and Nepal sending panic across both the countries. At least Six people are reported to have died in eastern Nepal.
Reports said one people died in Nalanda District of Bihar as Wall fall amid shock many houses collapsed in Katihar and capital Patna.
As buildings shook, people rushed out of their houses and took refuge in open places.
"We saw computers, chairs and tables rattling in our office," said Santosh Singh and Poonam Jha, who were among those who rushed out in the open in Hazaribagh in, Jharkhand.
In the Delhi, the tremor was felt in certain areas -- the second such experience within a fortnight after Delhiites were jolted around midnight on September 7 by an earthquake of 4.3 magnitudes.
Delhi's sattelite town Gurgaon ,Ghaziabad,Noida and some other parts of the National Capital Region experienced very mild tremor.
Immediately after the quake, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and extended him all necessary help.
The Prime Minister also directed Cabinet Secretary to call an emergency meet as soon as possible. Chamling and the National Disaster Management Authority have also called emergency meets.
Seismologists consider India’s Northeast to be the sixth most earthquake-prone belt in the world.