August 25, 2008 / 2:46 PM / in 9 years

Strong earthquake hits Tibet

BEIJING (Reuters) - A strong earthquake measuring 6.8 magnitude struck Tibet on Monday, but no loss of life was immediately reported, the Tibet Earthquake Bureau said on Monday.

The quake struck at 9:22 p.m. (9:22 a.m. EDT) and was centered in Zhongba county, a remote region near the China-Nepal border, the bureau said on its website (www.eq-xz.net).

A number of aftershocks followed and the Tibetan government had dispatched earthquake officials to the sparsely populated region, it said.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recorded the tremor, which was felt as far as New Delhi, at 6.3 magnitude and at a depth of 21.7 miles.

The quake was strongly felt in some townships and cracks had appeared in some buildings, Xinhua news agency said, citing an unnamed official from Zhongba county, part of Xigaze Prefecture in Tibet, which has a population of about 18,000.

It said local authorities were still assessing the situation in remote townships.

The quake was felt in Nepal and in New Delhi, where witnesses said buildings swayed. In Nepal, authorities said they were trying to find out whether there was any loss of life.

People ran out of their houses in Nepalgunj, 321 km (200 miles) southwest of the capital Kathmandu, they added.

A string of tremors in southwest Yunnan province last week killed at least five people, injured dozens and prompted the evacuation of over 120,000 people, state media reported.

At least 70,000 people were killed in China by the devastating May 12 earthquake in mountainous Sichuan province.

Reporting by Bappa Majumdar and Gopal Sharma in New Delhi and Ian Ransom in Beijing; Editing by Dina Kyriakidou

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