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4 Nov, 2023 04:19

Over 140 people killed by earthquake in Nepal

The death toll is rising after a 6.4-magnitude quake struck the Himalayan country late Friday
Over 140 people killed by earthquake in Nepal

At least 140 people have been killed and over 140 others injured after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit a remote pocket of Nepal, officials said on Saturday. 

The epicenter of the quake, according to the National Earthquake Monitoring & Research Centre of Nepal, was recorded near the village of Ramidanda in the Jajarkot district, 500km (300 miles) west of the capital, Kathmandu. Tremors were also felt in parts of northern India, including the capital, New Delhi. 

Several urban centers in Nepal, including Bheri, Nalgad, Kushe, Barekot, and Chedagad, were hit particularly hard, ANI news agency reported. Chief District Officer Suresh Sunar said that all security forces in the district have been mobilized for search and rescue work.

Nepal’s prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, expressed his condolences over the loss of life, his office said. He mobilized all of the country’s security agencies for the immediate rescue and relief of the injured. On Saturday morning, he headed to the site of the incident. 

The prime minister flew to the area with a 16-member army medical team to oversee search, rescue and relief, his office said. It also appealed to political parties, social workers and the public to donate funds to help arrange food, water, clothes and tents for the survivors. Rescue work has been slowed due to weather conditions, as emergency teams must first clear roads blocked by landslides in many places, Reuters reported. According to local journalist Saurabh Sharma, the Nepalese army has been deployed to airlift the injured to Kathmandu for treatment.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday morning to express his grief over the disaster. “Deeply saddened by 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,” he wrote.

Nepal is particularly prone to earthquakes as it lies on the ridge between the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates, which are constantly shifting.

The country was hit by a devastating 7.8-magnitude quake in 2015, killing nearly 9,000 people and destroying more than half a million homes. Last year, six people died after a 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck Doti district, near Jajarkot.