6.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nepal, Kills at Least 128

NEPAL: On Friday, a powerful earthquake struck remote western Nepal, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people.

Security forces have been mobilised to assist with rescue efforts in the untamed districts of Jajarkot and West Rukum, 500 kilometres (310 miles) west of Kathmandu.

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The quake’s strong tremors were felt as far as the Nepalese capital and in neighbouring Indian cities, including Delhi.

The army spokesperson stated that more than 100 individuals have sustained injuries, and Jajarkot’s hospital is overwhelmed with the wounded.

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In the aftermath of the quake, three additional tremors occurred within an hour, leaving many people to spend the night outdoors due to the fear of further earthquakes and potential damage to their homes.

Video footage, as seen on local media, depicted the crumbled facades of multi-story brick houses. Images circulated on social media depicted individuals digging through the debris in darkness to extract survivors trapped within the collapsed buildings.

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Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, visited the affected region on Saturday after expressing his “deep sorrow” for the loss of life and property caused by the earthquake on the social media platform X. He announced that he had instructed security agencies to immediately initiate rescue and relief operations.

However, the ongoing search and rescue efforts are facing challenges due to landslides triggered by the quake, which are blocking roads in the affected area.

The earthquake, as recorded by Nepal’s Monitoring and Research Centre, struck at 23:47 local time (18:02 GMT).

The US Geological Survey reported it as a shallow earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6, signifying that it occurred closer to the Earth’s surface.

Nepal is positioned in a region along the Himalayas known for frequent seismic activity.

Last month, a 6.3-magnitude quake occurred in the western district of Bajhang, causing injuries.

In the year 2015, Nepal experienced two devastating earthquakes that claimed the lives of 9,000 individuals and left 22,309 people wounded.

The first earthquake, on April 25, 2015, had a magnitude of 7.8 and was responsible for the majority of the damage and loss of life. It was followed by numerous aftershocks, including a 7.3-magnitude quake in May of the same year.

These seismic events resulted in the destruction or damage of over 800,000 houses, primarily in the western and central districts, as reported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Government buildings, certain road sections, and the renowned historic monuments of the Kathmandu Valley—UNESCO World Heritage Sites—were damaged or destroyed, with numerous villages north of Kathmandu levelled.

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