A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the remote mountain nation of Bhutan and India's northeastern Assam state on Monday, sending people running into the streets and damaging schools and homes, officials said. There were no early reports of injuries.
The afternoon earthquake was initially reported in Guwahati, the capital of Assam state, but it was centered in a little-populated eastern region of the tiny, mountainous nation of Bhutan.
Officials in Bhutan were still trying to measure the damage from the quake.
``There are no reports of loss of life, but some buildings and schools have been damaged,'' said Sherap Tenzing, a top official in Bhutan's Munggar district, near the epicenter of the quake. He provided no further details, but most buildings in that region are small farmhouses made of mud and stone with tin roofs
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake's magnitude as 6.3 and said it was centered about 80 miles (125 kilometers) north of Guwahati and 115 miles (180 kilometers) east of Thimphu, Bhutan's
capital, at a depth of 4.5 miles (7.2 kilometers).
``I dragged my family out. ... We ran down the staircase from our third floor apartment,'' said Sadeq Hazarika, an Assam state official who lives in Guwahati. ``We saw our building developing a
big crack. This was the biggest tremor I felt in many years.''
The region has been hit by major earthquakes in the past, including in 1950 and 1897. Assam has been shaken by a series of small quakes in recent weeks.
The quake briefly rocked Bhutan's capital.
``We felt a strong shock for a moment _ one second. People panicked and rushed out of their homes and businesses,'' said Tashi Dhendup, who runs a travel agency in Thimphu. He was not aware of any damage to buildings in that city.
The quake was also felt in Bangladesh and Lhasa, the Tibetan capital in southwest China, but there were no signs of damage in either place, officials said.