7 dead in Tibet after quake hits northern India

Updated: 2011-09-19 14:49


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LHASA - At least seven people have died and 22 others were injured in a southern county of China's Tibet autonomous region after a strong earthquake centered in the state of Sikkim in northern India hit on Sunday evening.

The earthquake has caused hundreds of landslides that have disrupted traffic, power and water supplies, as well as telecommunications in Yadong county, Tibet, which is 40 km away from Sikkim, the epicenter of the 6.9-magnitude quake.

7 dead in Tibet after quake hits northern India

Workers of local road transportation department try to clear a road to Yadong county, Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, following a powerful earthquake centered in the state of Sikkim in northern India, Sept 19, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

Local authorities in Xigaze prefecture, who administers Yadong, have mobilized workers to use heavy machinery to clear debris from major roads in order to ensure the expedient transport of relief supplies.

The road traffic to the Himalayan county resumed Monday morning.

Xinhua reporters arriving at the county early Monday morning saw dozens of earthquake victims wrapped in cotton quilts camp on street enduring rain and sleet.

Dianzin Namgyai, secretary of the Xigaze Prefecture committee of the Communist Party of China, on Monday visited victims in Galingang Village, one of the worst hit in the quake. He said all 156 houses in the village were damaged -- leaving villagers homeless.

"Relief supplies are on the way to Yadong," he said, adding that 500 tents have been sent.

Wang Changlin, rector of the Yadong County Middle School, said the school had to stop classes on Monday, as all 355 students are temporarily living in six tents.

The earthquake occurred at 6:11 pm local time (12:41 GMT) on the India-Nepal border. The epicenter is located 68 km northwest of Sikkim's capital of Gangtok, at a depth of 19.7 km.

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