At least 63 people are dead in the Himalaya mountains after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Indian state of Sikkim on Sunday evening and destroyed more than 100,000 homes in India, Nepal, and Tibet. Deaths have been reported in each of the territories, and authorities are warning that poor weather and heavy rains may precipitate devastating mudslides in places destabilized by the quake. Cloud cover has prevented fly-over damage assessments in many remote areas, some of which have been cut off by slides. “[T]here is likely to be a huge need for humanitarian assistance for affected civilians whose homes have been destroyed and who need food and shelter," a United Nations spokesman told Reuters. Earthquakes are not unknown in the region, but it has been sixty years since one caused serious destruction. The quake comes just as the fall climbing season gets underway in the Himalayas.
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