Ten dead after earthquake in Bhutan

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Local officials have said that an earthquake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale, has struck Bhutan, killing at least ten people and damaging many buildings. The US Geological Survey said that the epicentre of the tremor was located along the country's southern border with India, 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of Bhutan's capital Thimphu.

Bhutanese director of disaster management Ugyen Tenzing said that rescue teams were searching the rubble of collapsed buildings for survivors. Tenzing said that "it's hard to determine the extent of the damage at the moment. There is still information coming in."

"We are anticipating that most of the houses are now down, destroyed," said Bhutan Home Minister Minjur Dorji. He also added that "these are not like you see in the metropolitan cities, like concrete houses. These are made of wood, mud and stone, generally two-storied houses."

The local governor, Lungthen Dorji, said, "houses, and monasteries and roads have been damaged. Mobile services are clogged."