World

Bhutan quake kills 11

At least 11 people are dead after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountain country of Bhutan on Monday, collapsing houses and damaging buildings across the region.

At least 11 people are dead after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountain country of Bhutan on Monday, collapsing houses and damaging buildings across the region.

The quake, which struck in the afternoon, was initially reported in Gauhati, the capital of the northeastern Indian state of Assam. But its centre was in a little-populated eastern region of Bhutan.

"We're trying to piece together information to assess the damage," said Ugyen Tenzing, the country's director of disaster management.

Tenzing said at least seven people in the eastern districts of Munggar and Trashigang were killed when their houses collapsed. Four Indian highway workers were also killed in Bhutan's Samdrup Jhongkar district, near the border with India, when the road they were working on collapsed.

Rescuers were searching for survivors in the debris of other collapsed buildings, he said, adding at least 15 people had been injured across the quake zone.

The quake also briefly shook Thimphu, Bhutan's capital.

"We felt a strong shock for a moment — one second. People panicked and rushed out of their homes and businesses," said Tashi Dhendup, who runs a travel agency in Thimphu. Dhendup was not aware of any damage to buildings in that city.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.3 and was centred about 125 kilometres north of Gauhati and 180 kilometres east of Thimphu, at a depth of about 7.2 kilometres, according to a U.S. Geological Survey report Monday.

With files from The Associated Press