Sample Quake Report
Quake Kills at least 65 in Sisustan, Recently Rated World's Happiest Spot
At least 65 people were killed and more than 330 were seriously injured when a powerful earthquake struck the remote Himalayan state of Sisustan, UNICEF reported Tuesday, citing local officials. Thousands of homes and buildings were destroyed, first reports said.
In Golden, Colorado, the U.S. Geological Survey said the quake measured 7.9 on the open-ended Richter Scale.
Sisustan, a former kingdom incorporated into India in 1975, had been singled out this year by a United Nations study as the happiest place on earth.
"The suffering is enormous," said Jim Wolf, a New Delhi-based spokesman for the United National Children's Emergency Fund. A six-person UNICEF fact-finding team had been touring Sisustan when the quake hit shortly after 7:30 pm local time (x:30 GMT).
Among the dead were as many as 50 children at a mud-and-brick school that collapsed in the village of Kamamoto, the quake's epicenter, 30 kilometers east of Tangtok, the capital, UNICEF said.
The government of SISUSTAN has estimated that forestry, farm and mining losses could total $216 million, the UNICEF spokesman told a late-night news conference in the Indian capital.
Power was knocked out throughout the country. Communications, difficult even in the best of times, were extremely limited. No word was immediately available on the extent of initial rescue efforts.