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Earthquake rocks Assam, other parts of northeast India

An earthquake shook the remote mountain nation of Bhutan and India’s northeastern Assam state Monday, sending people running into the streets and cracking some buildings. It was not clear if there were any injuries.

The afternoon earthquake left cracks in some buildings in Guwahati, the capital of Assam state, but it was centered in a little-populated eastern region of the tiny, mountainous nation of Bhutan.

The US Geological Survey reported the 6.3-magnitude quake was centered about 80 miles (125 kilometers) north of Gauhati 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 Thimpu. 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.

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