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6.7 earthquake jolts India's northeast and Bangladesh, killing 14

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck northeastern India on Monday morning, killing at least 14 people in two countries, wounding hundreds and causing tremors that were felt from Bhutan to Myanmar.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was 18 miles west of Imphal, the capital of India’s Manipur state. Four people died there, city officials said.

A total of at least nine people died in India from the quake, with more than 100 injured, according to the Press Trust of India. Five people were reported killed and at least 100 injured in Bangladesh, where the quake severely shook buildings in Dhaka, the capital, and other parts of the country.

Rescue teams from India’s paramilitary National Disaster Response Force rushed to affected areas in the country to provide aid to injury victims, the Home Affairs Ministry said. Residents said the death toll was not forecast to rise substantially as there were no reports of large building collapses or mass casualties.

“People panicked initially, but hardly any private homes have been damaged severely,” Pradip Phanjoubam, editor of the Imphal Free Press newspaper, said in a phone interview. “It is mostly the government infrastructure that has been damaged because it is not built well.”



7:20 p.m.: An earlier version of this post identified Pradip Phanjoubam as editor of the Imphal Press Journal newspaper. He is editor of the Imphal Free Press newspaper.


Media reports said residents rushed out of their homes in panic when they felt the shaking, which knocked over books and furniture. The ANI news agency said houses in Imphal suffered cracks.

Northeastern India, including Manipur, is a remote region bracketed by Bangladesh and Myanmar, and connected by a sliver of land to the rest of the country.

The quake was felt about 900 miles to the west in the city of Jamshedpur, in India’s Jharkhand state, where resident Sudhir Kumar told the Times of India: “I felt someone was waking me up. When I woke up, I felt it was a strong tremor.”

The National Crisis Management Committee met following the quake and was coordinating rescue efforts, the Home Affairs Ministry said.

Electricity was cut off in many parts of Imphal and had yet to be restored in some areas by Monday afternoon, Phanjoubam said. At least one minor aftershock and the appearance of cracks in building walls had made people apprehensive, he added.

“They feel another tremor would result in a [building] collapse,” he said. “But the situation has more or less come back to normal.”

Parth M.N. is a special correspondent.

Special correspondent Mohiuddin Kader contributed to this report from Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times


11:38 a.m.: This article has been updated with death toll rising.

5 a.m. This article has been updated with a report of deaths and injuries in Bangladesh. 

Jan. 4, 12:30 a.m. This article has been updated with staff reports.

This article was originally published on Jan. 3 at 11:48 p.m.