Cracked buildings collapsed in a heap of debris and landslides cut off roads as an earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit Nepal, with its epicentre not far from Mount Everest - the world's highest peak at 8,848 metres.

Nineteen people were killed in Dolakha, five in Sindhupalchowk, four in Kathmandu, two in Sindhuli and one each in Lalitpur, Sunsari, Rauthat, Dhanusa and Sarlahi, Nepal Home Ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said.

Read More: Nepal struck by another powerful earthquake, tremors felt across India


The details of two other people killed were not immediately available. Terrified people ran out of homes and offices to open space and parks as the buildings began to shake due to the tremors.

"It was frightening," said an eyewitness who clutched her daughter. "It felt worse than last time," she added six strong aftershocks followed in quick succession. Four of the aftershocks had their epicentre at Kodari on the Nepal-China border, north-east of Kathmandu, and the strongest aftershock measured 6.3 on the Richter scale.

 

Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala cited the government has deployed search, relief and rescue teams in the affected areas. His Indian counterpart Narendra Modi assured that he has directed authorities to be on alert for rescue and relief operations.

See in pics: Earthquake triggers panic among people!!!

A tweet from the Indian Prime Minister's office said "Prime Minister took stock of the situation following the fresh major earthquake felt in Nepal and parts of India, at a high-level meeting.

 


"India Meteorological Department chief L.S. Rathore said the aftershocks could well continue for a few more weeks and months. The tremors were felt in India, particularly in capital Delhi, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Kolkata and the northeastern city of Guwahati.

Read More: NDRF puts on alert after quake: Rajnath Singh

The earthquake triggered panic in many areas in Bihar. In the capital city Patna, citizens were seen running out from buildings into open spaces.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was at his 7 Circular Road residence rushed out of the building into the lawn, sources in the CM residence said.


Sources in Raj Bhawan said Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who was in his chamber came out of the building, due to the temblor.

People who had assembled for a book release programme at the Raj Bhawan also ran out to the lawn.

Also Read: Things you must know about earthquake

Senior BJP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi left a press conference midway and rushed out of his Polo Road residence alongwith the journalists.


A Darbhanga report said leader of opposition in the Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, who was also addressing mediapersons on circuit house, ran towards a lawn after the temblor.

District Magistrate In-charge of East Champaran Bharat Dubey told over phone that he and and other officers had to ran out of the Collectorate office following the quake. He said details of damage was being collected.

Latest News from India News Desk