Death Toll in Himalayan Quake Reaches 70

Death Toll in Himalayan Quake Reaches 70
# 20 September 2011 04:32 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Rescue workers in India are facing a second day of the grim search for victims of a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that killed at least 70 people and left many others missing in northeastern India, Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet, APA reports quoting VOA.

After spending Monday battling heavy rains and landslides, rescuers hoped for a break in the weather Tuesday that would allow them to resume their effort and deliver crucial supplies to affected areas in the mountainous state of Sikkim, the epicenter of the quake.

Indian Air Force helicopters managed to make several food drops to villagers late Monday, after monsoon downpours prevented flights to the area earlier in the day.

More than 5,000 army troops were sent to Sikkim to help clear roads and assist with the relief operation. They cleared a major highway leading to the state capital, Gangtok, and restored power to the city. But many villages in remote areas remained unreachable late Monday and many residents in Gangtok spent a second night in the streets, too scared to stay in their homes.

Most of the deaths occurred in Sikkim and the rest were killed in the Indian states of Bihar and West Bengal. Many of the victims were killed by collapsing buildings and mudslides.

Nepalese authorities reported eight quake-related deaths, while China’s official Xinhua news agency said at least seven people were killed in southern Tibet.

Two strong aftershocks followed Sunday’s quake and experts warned that more could follow. Many residents of Gangtok spent Sunday night and Monday morning in the streets, too afraid to stay in their homes.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called an emergency meeting on Monday to coordinate the disaster response.
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