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Deadly pre-dawn earthquake strikes eastern India

AFP file photo | Imphal, the capital city of India's northeastern state of Manipur, in an undated photo.

At least five people were killed and dozens injured when an earthquake measuring 6.7 struck near Imphal in eastern India on Monday, sending people running from their homes and knocking out power to the city near the Burma border.

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The US Geological Survey said the quake was 57 kms (35 miles) deep and struck 29 kms west of Imphal. It initially reported it had struck inside Burma, also known as Myanmar.

"Five people are confirmed dead and 33 have been injured," Anurag Gupta of India's National Disaster Management Authority told AFP.

Police in Imphal, capital of Manipur state, said walls, staircases and roofs in some buildings collapsed.

Residents said people fled their homes and power was down across the city.

“It was the biggest earthquake we’ve felt in Imphal,” disaster response worker Kanarjit Kangujam told Reuters by telephone from Imphal.

People in Bangladesh and Nepal ran from their homes, and the quake was also felt as far away as the former Burmese capital, Rangoon, about 1,176 kms (730 miles) to the south, residents said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was in touch with authorities in the northeast.

An official at Myanmar’s Meteorological Department in Naypyidaw said there were no reports of damage or casualties on the Burma side of the border.

In April and May 2015, two massive earthquakes struck Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people, and in October, an earthquake hit a remote area in Afghanistan, killing over 200 people and sending shockwaves as far as New Delhi.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, REUTERS)

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