At least six people were killed after a powerful 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Wednesday.
While Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Centre provided preliminary measurements of a 6.6 magnitude, the US Geological Survey gave a rating of 5.6.
The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.6 and said that it was centered about 158km (100 miles) northeast of Pilibhit, in the neighbouring Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Tremors from the earthquake forced people out of their homes in the Himalayan region and were felt as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi, about 400km away.
Officials said casualties were recorded in Doti district where five others were also injured.
Kalpana Shrestha, the chief officer of Doti district, said six people were killed when they were crushed in their houses in a remote, sparsely populated mountain village, reported Associated Press.
Ms Shreshtha added that security officials had been deployed to the remote villages to help with the rescue efforts.
While there were reports of houses damaged in many villages, there are no new reports of casualties.
A ground rescue team has been rushed to the site and two helicopters were on stand by in nearby Surkhet and Nepalgunj towns, Narayan Silwal, a spokesperson for the Nepali army was quoted as telling Reuters.
In a statement on Twitter, Nepal’s prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said that relief and rescue operations are underway.
“Expressing my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the earthquake, which was centered in the Khaptad region of Far West. Also, I have instructed the relevant agencies to arrange immediate and proper treatment of the injured and the victims in the relief and rescue in the affected areas,” he wrote.
Strong tremors were felt in several parts of India.
“It was scary… extremely scary,” journalist Akansha Mishra wrote on social media.
Several people reported their bed frames shaking and ceiling fans swinging back and forth.
Home to Mount Everest, Nepal is prone to earthquakes as it sits along a fault line at the border of two tectonic plates — the India and the Eurasian plates.
The country is still rebuilding after a devastating earthquake in 2015 when around 9,000 people were killed.
(Additional reporting by agencies)
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