At least six people have been killed and more than 100 others injured in a massive earthquake that hit northeastern India and the adjoining countries of Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan early Monday morning, a senior disaster management official said.
"The quake, which measured 6.7 on the Richter Scale, hit northeastern Indian state of Manipur around 4:30 a.m. local time. Tremors were also felt in some neighboring northeastern states and the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha," he said, on condition of anonymity.
"In Manipur's capital Imphal, six people were killed and 100 others are injured, following collapses of several buildings. The toll may rise later in the day as the condition of some are said to be serious. No casualties have been reported from other states yet."
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake was 57 km deep and struck 29 km west of Imphal, and the epicentre was in the state's Tamenglong district.
Local TV channels showed footage of terrified people running out of their houses in Manipur and other states, including West Bengal and Odisha, and reported that several buildings, including some hospitals, suffered damages in the quake.
Teams from the National Disaster Response Force have been instructed to move from Assam's capital Guwahati to areas affected by the quake, the Indian Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted, saying that he had "spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh who is in Assam, on the situation arising due to the earthquake and asked him to oversee the situation."
India's northeastern region is quake-prone. Several quakes have in the past hit the region, caused by the northward collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. Experts say these plates are moving towards each other at a rate of up to five cms every year.
In April 2015, some 10,000 people died and millions of homes destroyed in Nepal after a series of quakes hit the Himalayan nation.