NEW DELHI, Sept. 21 (UPI) — A strong earthquake shook the Asian kingdom of Bhutan Monday, killing at least five people and sending rocks onto highways, the country’s home minister said.
The quake initially was measured at 6.3 in magnitude, but the U.S. Geological Survey revised its strength to 6.1 on the Richter scale.
So far, “the reports that I have received say five to six lives have been lost,” Home Minister Minjur Dorji said.
The earthquake loosen boulders, which cascaded down hillsides to block mountain roads to remote, hilly regions, Dorji said. The quake also damaged monasteries, homes and Bhutanese forts. At least one home was destroyed.
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