25 dead in earthquake: Home secretarySeptember 19th, 2011 - 3:21 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) At least 25 people have died and over 100 were injured in the 6.8 Richter earthquake that rocked large parts of northern and eastern India, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said Monday.
“Some 16 civilians and two army personnel have died in Sikkim. Two people have died in Bihar while five in West Bengal,” Singh told reporters here.
The high-intensity quake was followed by two after-shocks Sunday evening and had its epicentre on the Sikkim-Nepal border.
Singh said that in Gangtok, buildings have developed cracks but not collapsed and authorities are working to restore the road link from Bagdogra to Gantok.
He said that bad weather conditions in the region are affecting the rescue operations.
“The weather between Bagdogra to Gangtok is bad and as soon as it is clear, we will air-lift the rescue teams. Teams of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal and Army have been working. Around 1,500 people have taken shelter in army camps while 400 are in ITBP camps,” he said.
Sikkim has been cut-off from the rest of the country with the national highway 31-A blocked in at least eight places following heavy mudslides, said G. Anandan, district magistrate, Sikkim East.
As many as 25 concrete bridges were damaged between Siliguri and Gangtok on the 120-km-long national highway 31-A, he said.
A medical team comprising of 20 doctors left Delhi for Sikkim and reached Bagdogra early Monday but could not reach the affected area as the road route has been affected, said a home ministry release.
According to Lt Gen S Ravi Shankar, director general of the Border Roads Organisation, there are 16 landslides over a stretch of 10 km and efforts are on to clear the route, the release added.
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Tags: anandan, army camps, army personnel, bad weather, bagdogra, border roads, concrete bridges, district magistrate, eastern india, high intensity, highway 31, home ministry, india home, itbp, ministry release, ravi shankar, siliguri, tibetan border, weather conditions, west bengal