More than 130 people die in earthquake in Nepal

Henry

At least 132 people have died after an earthquake hit a remote part of Nepal late Friday evening.

According to officials, the earthquake of 5.6 hit the far western part of this country in the Himalayas late on Friday evening. It has been measured by the US Geological Survey at more than 18 kilometers deep.

The earthquake was reportedly felt as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi, nearly 500 kilometers from the epicenter, 42 kilometers south of Jumla.

Footage posted on social media showed locals digging through the rubble in the dark to pull survivors from collapsed houses and buildings.

Houses were flattened and damaged while survivors waited outside for safety with the sirens of emergency vehicles rushing to assist the injured.

“A total of 92 people died in Jajarkot and 40 in Rukum,” Home Ministry spokesman Narayan Prasad Bhattarai told AFP. These are the two districts worst hit by the earthquake.

National police spokesman Kuber Kathayat says authorities have reported more than 100 other injuries across both districts.

Security forces have been deployed to assist in search and rescue operations, Karnali province police spokesman Gopal Chandra Bhattarai told AFP.

“The remote location of the districts makes it difficult for information to get through,” he added.

“Some roads are impassable due to the serious damage, but we are trying to reach the area through alternative routes.”

The district hospital was reportedly packed with residents bringing in injured victims. ‌

The Nepalese Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, expressed his “heartfelt condolences for the human and physical damage”.

“The government is serious about providing relief to victims and treating the injured,” he added.

In neighboring India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened by the loss of so many lives.

“India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is ready to provide all possible assistance.”

Nepal lies on a major geological fault line where the Indian tectonic plate pushes up into the Eurasian plate and forms the Himalayas; earthquakes occur frequently in this area.

In 2015, almost 9,000 people died and more than 22,000 were injured when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and destroyed more than half a million homes.

It damaged or destroyed nearly 8,000 schools, leaving nearly one million children without classrooms.

Hundreds of monuments and royal palaces, including the UNESCO world heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, which attracted visitors from all over the world, were destroyed – a major blow to tourism.

Six people died in November last year when an earthquake of magnitude 5.6 struck the Doti district near Jajarkot.