Home » Search and Rescue Efforts Underway After Nepal Quake Claims 129 Lives

Search and Rescue Efforts Underway After Nepal Quake Claims 129 Lives

Search and Rescue Efforts Underway After Nepal Quake Claims 129 Lives

Search and Rescue Efforts Underway After Nepal Quake Claims 129 Lives

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A powerful earthquake struck a remote area in northwestern Nepal overnight on Friday, claiming the lives of at least 129 people and causing multiple buildings to collapse. Officials have expressed concerns that the death toll could increase.

The earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 5.6 according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), originated approximately 42 kilometers (around 26 miles) from Jumla, Nepal, located in Karnali province. It occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 18 kilometers, and its tremors were felt as far as India’s capital, New Delhi.

Nepal’s police spokesperson, Kuber Kadayat, reported that 129 fatalities and 140 injuries have been confirmed thus far, making this earthquake the deadliest since 2015. In Jajarkot district, near the quake’s epicenter, 92 people lost their lives, and 55 sustained injuries. In the nearby Rukam West district, 37 fatalities and 85 injuries were reported, according to Kadayat.

Images from Reuters depicted numerous homes reduced to rubble in Jajarkot. Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Nepal, as the country lies at the convergence point of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, giving rise to the towering Himalayan mountain range.

In 2015, a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake resulted in at least 9,000 fatalities, extensive damage to around one million homes and structures across various regions of Nepal, and approximately $6 billion in economic losses.

Officials have expressed concerns that the casualty count from this recent earthquake may rise, as they have faced challenges establishing communication in the hilly region near the epicenter, situated approximately 500 kilometers (around 300 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu, where aftershocks were also felt.

Harish Chandra Sharma, an official in Jajarkot district, revealed, “The number of injured could be in the hundreds and the deaths could go up as well. Many houses have collapsed, many others have developed cracks. Thousands of residents spent the entire night in cold, open grounds because they were too scared to go into the cracked houses as aftershocks struck.”

Jajarkot district, with a population of 190,000, is characterized by scattered villages in remote hill areas. AFP news agency released pictures showing survivors gathering at Jajarkot’s primary hospital.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his condolences to the families of those affected by the earthquake, stating, “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage due to the earthquake in Nepal. India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is ready to extend all possible assistance. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families, and we wish the injured a quick recovery.”