Eight people were killed and score injured as strong 6.7 magnitude earthquake hit north-east India,sending panicked residents fleeing into the streets, on Monday morning.
Five were killed, the government said, while three people died in Bangladesh after suffering strokes or heart attacks following the early morning earthquake.
Anurag Gupta of India’s National Disaster Management Authority said buildings had been damaged in Imphal, capital of Manipur state where the earthquake was centred.
“Five people are confirmed dead and 33 have been injured in Imphal. A six-storey building in the [state] capital was partially damaged and some small structures have also developed cracks,”Anurag said.
An official at one of the main hospitals in Imphal however said more than 50 people had been admitted with head injuries and fractured limbs. Deepak Shijagurumayum, whose house was severely damaged in Imphal, described scenes of chaos after the earthquake.
“Almost everyone was asleep when it struck and were thrown out of their beds,” he said.
“People were crying and praying in the streets and in open spaces. Hundreds remained outdoors for several hours fearing aftershocks.”
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake hit at 4.35am (3.05am UAE) about 30 kilometres west-northwest of Imphal.
The Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency said buildings had collapsed near the epicentre and the electricity supply had been cut in parts of Manipur, which borders Myanmar and has a long history of separatist unrest.
Nearly 60 people were being treated for their injuries in hospitals in Bangladesh, where the earthquake triggered panic on the streets of major cities.
One 23-year-old Bangladeshi man died after suffering a stroke when he ran out of his house, while another two people — a farmer and a university official — died of heart attacks, police said.
One of the wounded was a university student who jumped from a fourth-floor balcony and was in a critical condition.
There were similar scenes in Guwahati, north-east India, the main commercial city of Assam state. Residents were “in a state of shock” after being woken by the shaking.
Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, tweeted that he had spoken to authorities in Assam about the effect of the earthquake. The tremors were felt as far away as Kolkata, about 600 kilometres away, where buildings shook.
“Many people were seen coming out of their homes in panic,” said resident Rabin Dev.