Six dead after powerful quake shakes Nepal

An earthquake of magnitude 6.6 has struck Nepal, killing at least six people and destroying multiple houses in the western district of Doti, close to populous towns.

Five other people were seriously injured as eight houses collapsed, said Bhola Bhatta, deputy superintendent of police in Doti, confirming an earlier figure shared by home ministry official Tulsi Rijal.

Nepal is still rebuilding after two major earthquakes in 2015 killed almost 9000 people, destroyed whole towns and centuries-old temples and caused a $US6 billion ($A9.2 billion) blow to the economy.

Narayan Silwal, spokesman for the Nepali army, said a ground rescue team has been rushed to the site and two helicopters were on stand by in nearby Surkhet and Nepalgunj towns.

Nepal's seismological centre set the earthquake, which stuck early on Wednesday, at a magnitude of 6.6.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) had pegged the earthquake at a magnitude of 5.6.

The quake was centred about 158 kilometres northeast of Pilibhit, a populous city in the neighbouring Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and occurred at a depth of 10km, EMSC added.

Media reports after the quake showed tremors were also felt in India's capital, New Delhi, and surrounding areas.