India earthquake: Manipur tremor measuring 6.7 kills eight and injures 100

Ninety special force members are checking on the more remote areas

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The Independent Online

An earthquake in India's remote north-east region has killed up to eight people, injured more than 100 others and caused damage to buildings. 

The 6.7 magnitude tremor caused falling debris which resulted in the deaths and injuries in Manipur, a small state east of Bangladesh and bordering Myanmar.

Three people were killed in Imphal, the state's capital, and at least another three in other areas, with The Times of India placing the death toll at eight people. Tremors were also felt in nearby states Assam, West Bengal and even neighbouring kingdom Bhutan.

Residents said furniture was knocked over and books fell off shelves. 

"The ground swayed for almost a minute, jolting people awake in their homes," said one resident, Apem Arthur. 

Powerful tremors left large cracks in walls and a portion of a popular market building collapsed in Imphal, while a bridge outside the city was also damaged.

Dozens of homes in the Tamenglong region, where the earthquake is believed to have originated, have been further damaged - and a newly constructed six-storey building in the capital collapsed completely, according to the the police control room.

India's Meteorological Department said the epicenter of the quake struck before dawn on Monday at a depth of 17 kilometers (about 10 miles).

Shangthon Kamei, a teacher in Tamenglong, said the earthquake rattled buildings. 

"It lasted for around one minute. We were sleeping and were woken up by the earthquake," he said. 

The Tamenglong area is remote with poor telephone and internet connections, and information about conditions outside of major cities is likely to take time to emerge. 

Nearly 90 members of the National Disaster Response Force, a specialised federal force for natural disasters, have left to check on remote areas, police said. 

In neighbouring Assam state, people rushed out of their homes after feeling massive shaking at least twice within 60 seconds.