No fewer than 143 people were killed in an overnight earthquake that struck a remote area of Nepal, officials said Saturday
An earthquake that struck a remote part of Nepal overnight claimed the lives of at least 143 people, according to officials on Saturday.
The US Geological Survey estimated that the 5.6-magnitude earthquake, which struck remote western districts of the Himalayan Republic late on Friday, was only 18 kilometers deep.
Homes throughout the impact site were shaken to wakefulness and had their mud homes flattened by the tremor’s force.
At a hospital caring for survivors, Kamala Oli, a mother holding her small child, remarked, “It came when we were sleeping.”
“There were three of us in the house. Only two of us lived”.
Dozens of survivors with fractures and head injuries were raced for treatment to a hospital in Nepalgunj, a small city near the Indian border.
Footage of the quake’s aftermath posted on social media showed locals digging through rubble in the dark to pull survivors from the wreckage of collapsed homes and buildings, as others crouched outside for safety.
The quake was felt as far away as India’s capital New Delhi, nearly 500 kilometres from the epicentre.
“105 people have died in Jajarkot and 38 in Rukum” national police spokesman Kuber Kathayat told AFP, referring to the two districts hit worst by the quake.
Authorities had tallied more than 100 others injured across both districts, he added.
Security forces have been deployed on foot and in helicopters to assist with search and rescue operations.
“The remoteness of the districts makes it difficult for information to get through”,
“Some roads had been blocked by damage, but we are trying to reach the area through alternate routes”, Karnali Province police spokesman, Gopal Chandra Bhattarai told AFP.
Nepalese Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal arrived at the site of the quake on Saturday. Dahal after expressing his deep sorrow over the human and physical damage assured that the government is serious about providing relief to victims and treating the injured.
Nepal lies on a major geological faultline where the Indian tectonic plate pushes up into the Eurasian plate, forming the Himalayas, and earthquakes are a regular occurrence.
Nearly 9,000 people died and more than 22,000 were injured in 2015 when a 7.8-magnitude quake struck Nepal, destroying more than half a million homes.
It damaged or destroyed nearly 8,000 schools, leaving almost one million children without classrooms.
Hundreds of monuments and royal palaces — including the Kathmandu Valley’s UNESCO World Heritage sites — that had drawn visitors from around the world were destroyed, in a major blow to tourism.
Six people died in November last year when a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck the Doti district, near Jajarkot.