The death toll from a strong earthquake that shook a Himalayan region straddling India, Nepal and China climbed to 30 on Monday as authorities tried to reach remote, mountain communities to assess the full extent of damage, according to USA Today.
Indian soldiers, rescue teams and medical personnel raced to a remote corner of northeastern India on Monday after a major earthquake collapsed buildings and caused landslides that buried roads, killing more than 30 people. The quake, which struck Sunday night in the mountainous region near the town of Mangan in Sikkim state, registered 6.9 on the Richter scale and sent tremors as far away as Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and China. Several aftershocks followed, further rattling residents.
Due to the remoteness of the region and the disruption of phone service, news about the damage and casualties was slow to filter in. By Monday morning, at least 16 people were reported dead and more than 100 injured in Sikkim, Prem Das, a member of Parliament from the state, told the Indian television channel CNN-IBN. The eastern state of West Bengal also reported six deaths and Bihar state reported three, reports TIME.
In Sikkim, the Indian state nearest the epicenter, at least five people died and more than 50 were injured, said Karma Gyatso, the state's chief secretary. Four more deaths were reported in neighboring West Bengal State and two in Bihar State, with one of the victims killed in what apparently was a stampede of panicked people. In Nepal, the government reported at least five deaths in all, along with dozens of injuries, says New York Times.