- Earthquake destroys multiple houses in western district of Doti.
- Five other people were seriously injured as eight houses collapsed.
- Nepal PM expresses heartfelt condolences.
KATHMANDU: An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 struck Nepal early Wednesday, killing at least six people, destroying multiple houses in the western district of Doti and shaking the Indian capital New Delhi, officials said.
Five other people were seriously injured as eight houses collapsed, said Bhola Bhatta, deputy superintendent of police in Doti, confirming an earlier figure shared by home ministry official Tulsi Rijal. The injured had been rushed to a local hospital, police said.
Nepal is still rebuilding after two major earthquakes in 2015 killed almost 9,000 people, destroyed whole towns and centuries-old temples and caused a $6 billion blow to the economy.
“Expressing my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died in the earthquake,” Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba wrote on Twitter. “I have instructed the relevant agencies to arrange immediate and proper treatment of the injured and the victims.”
Narayan Silwal, a spokesman for the Nepali army, said a ground rescue team has been rushed to the site and two helicopters were on stand by in nearby Surkhet and Nepalgunj towns.
Kalpana Shrestha, a senior bureaucrat of Doti district, said details were being collected from villages near the epicentre and that one child was among those rescued from under the debris.
Nepal’s seismological centre set the earthquake at a magnitude of 6.6. The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) had pegged the earthquake at a magnitude of 5.6.
The quake was centred about 158 km (100 miles) northeast of Pilibhit, a populous city in the neighbouring Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and occurred at a depth of 10 km, EMSC added.
Media reports after the quake showed tremors were also felt in New Delhi and surrounding areas, some 350km (220 miles) from Doti.