NEW DELHI, Sept. 21 (UPI) — A powerful earthquake struck the Asian kingdom of Bhutan Monday, killing at least eight people, the country’s home minister said.
Bhutanese Home Minister Minjur Dorji said rescue teams traveling in eastern Bhutan could be delayed by closed roads littered with boulders rattled loose by the earthquake, CNN reported.
The 6.1-magnitude earthquake destroyed many homes and damaged monasteries, homes and Bhutanese fort, Dorji said.
“There’s definitely an impact on the infrastructure,” Dorji said.
At first, the quake was registered at 6.3 in magnitude, but the U.S. Geological Survey later revised the magnitude down to 6.1 on the Richter scale.
The number of people injured was unknown, Dorji said, adding that several school children and monks were treated for injuries.
The quake also was felt in India’s northeastern Assam state, which borders Bhutan.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake was about 85 miles northwest of Gauhati, India; 110 miles east of Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu; 380 miles northeast of Kolkata, formerly Calcutta; and 870 miles from New Delhi.
Bhutan is at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains, and is bordered on the south, east and west by India and on the north by China.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International