An earthquake with an epicenter in the mountainous area of western Nepal rattled the Himalayan nation early Wednesday, killing at least six people as they slept in their homes, a government official said.
The quake was felt as far away as India’s capital New Delhi, which is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of the epicenter.
Kalpana Shrestha, Doti district chief minister, said six people were killed when their houses collapsed in a remote mountain village. Five more people were injured.
The earthquake at around 2:12 a.m. forced people in mountain communities to flee their homes in panic, with many spending the night outdoors, Shrestha said.
Shrestha said security forces had been dispatched to remote locations to help with the rescue efforts. According to various reports, the quake damaged houses in many villages with no new reports of casualties.
Videos posted on social media showed some residents removing rubble with their hands to find victims buried by quake-damaged homes, shining their phone lights to move the piles of wood and stones used in the construction of houses in most mountain villages.
Most mountain communities are reached on foot and there are no roads to carry heavy machinery to help with rescue efforts.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said in a statement that he has ordered government officials to provide immediate help to the victims and their families and to provide all necessary medical aid to the injured.
The quake had a magnitude of 6.6, according to Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center. The US Geological Survey set the magnitude at 5.7 with a depth of 18.1 kilometers (11.2 miles) and an epicenter 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Dipayal.
Earthquakes are common in the mountainous area of Nepal, where the highest peak in the world is located. In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed around 9,000 people and damaged close to a million structures.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.