The earthquake that struck in the central Indian state of Kerala on Monday evening was the largest in India in recent years and has shaken the state’s tourism industry.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the earthquake struck at a depth of about 10 kilometres (6.4 miles), which means it has a magnitude of 5.7.
The epicentre was located at a fault line that runs along the south-west coast of Kerala, near the state capital of Kochi.
IMD chief Ashish Shelar told the AFP news agency that the quake was felt as far away as the northern state of Andhra Pradesh, where a series of tremors hit earlier in the day.
The quake triggered an evacuation order in several parts of the state, but the extent of damage is unknown.
The state government has ordered a thorough investigation into the earthquake and has asked people to remain indoors and avoid areas where people are camping, the IMD said.
“In addition, emergency personnel and rescue workers will be deployed to the affected areas,” it said in a statement.
The quake caused extensive damage to homes and caused landslides that damaged nearby roads, it added.
“The damage caused to homes was extensive and was of a very severe nature,” Shelar said, adding that rescue workers and rescue teams were being deployed to areas affected by the quake.
The IMD has ordered an investigation into whether any natural gas or coal mines had been used in the area.
The earthquake struck about 50 kilometres (31 miles) south of Kochiyil in a remote area of Kerala that is largely unpopulated.