Kathmandu/Patna: Over a dozen aftershocks jolted Nepal on Wednesday, keeping people on edge a day after a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake killed 79 people in the Himalayan nation that had just begun to rebuild itself following the devastation from the temblor less than three weeks ago. At least 24 people also died in India.
Over a dozen aftershocks jolted Nepal on Wednesday, keeping people on edge a day after a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake killed 79 people in the Himalayan nation that had just begun to rebuild itself following the devastation from the temblor less than three weeks ago. At least 24 people also died in India.
The fresh quake hit the hardest in remote mountainous districts in northeast of the capital city Kathmandu, bringing down buildings and triggering landslides that blocked roads to remote villages in several areas.
The death toll from on Tuesday's earthquake has climbed to 79, while the number of injured reached 2,300, according to an official. Most of the casualties were reported in Dolakha district, northeast of Kathmandu. The toll was expected to further rise.
Rescue workers are searching for survivors from the latest quake. Search is also on for a US military helicopter that was reported missing with six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers on board while delivering aid.
Security personnel rescued 9 Nepalese, an American man and a Korean woman today, airlifting them through a helicopter from Dolakha.
Police said 32 of 75 districts were affected and several houses collapsed due to the fresh quake that was centred some 83 kms east of Kathmandu near Mount Everest at a shallow depth of 15 kilometres.
As many as 13 aftershocks were reported on Wednesday, most of them centred around Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk, according to Nepal Seismological Centre.
Tuesday's temblor was followed by a 6.3-magnitude aftershock 30 minutes later. A total of 33 aftershocks struck on Tuesday and continued into this morning. Thousands of fear-stricken people spent the night in the open under plastic tents barely shielding them from cold last night.
Meanwhile, the toll in India has risen to 24, including 21 deaths in Bihar. Two others lost their lives in Uttar Pradesh and one died in West Bengal.
The central government has assured the affected states of all assistance required in the quake-hit areas.
Six deaths were reported on Wednesday from different parts of Bengal, which bore the brunt of a fresh round of earthquakes along with neighbouring Nepal.
The special cell in Bihar Disaster Management department's (DMD) latest report said altogether 84 people were injured in two high intensity and a series of minor quakes on Tuesday.
Patna, East Champaran, Madhepura and Purnea are the worst affected districts and reported three deaths each. Two persons each died in Vaishali, Siwan and Darbhanga districts, while one each lost their lives in Sitamarhi, Khagaria and Sheikhpura districts, the DMD cell said.
DMD has rushed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams to the affected districts to carry out rescue and relief operations, department officials said.
State meteorological department recorded seven aftershocks of mild intensity ranging from 2 to 4.7 on Richter scale on Wednesday.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been on his toes since Tuesday, kept himself abreast about distribution of relief and arrangements from concerned officials throughout the day, officials said.
The earthquakes, he told inaugurating a conference 'Disaster Risk Reduction', have provided a warning and appealed to the people to abide by the building construction bylaws as the state was highly prone to earthquakes.
"We will all die for sure, but why commit suicide," he said and asked citizens to be alert and not to panic.
All government and private schools in the state have been closed for summer vacation from Wednesday on the direction of Kumar, who termed it as a precautionary measure. The fresh tremors on Tuesday brought back the memories of the April 25 temblor in which 58 persons had died in Bihar.