128 people killed as strong earthquake jolts Nepal
Kathmandu: At least 128 people were killed and several others injured when a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake jolted western Nepal’s remote mountainous region just before midnight on Friday.
According to the National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Centre, the earthquake with an epicentre in Jajarkot district was recorded at 11:47 pm.
The impact of the quake was felt in Kathmandu and surrounding districts, and even in New Delhi in neighbouring India.
The Jajarkot and Rukum districts of western Nepal were worst hit by the quake, according to state-run Nepal Television.
According to the Home Ministry, 128 people were killed and 140 others were injured in the two districts. The number of houses damaged could not be ascertained so far.
The death toll is expected to rise.
Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ headed towards the quake-hit region with a medical team Saturday morning. Both Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel have been mobilised to carry out rescue work, officials said.
“Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of lives and property in the earthquake on Friday night and has mobilised all the three security bodies for the immediate rescue and relief,” reads a post from the prime minister’s office on X.
Injured people are undergoing treatment at the Surkhet District Hospital, officials said. The Prime Minister has instructed security agencies to immediately carry out rescue and relief works.
As the roads were blocked and bridges damaged, rescue and relief works on the incident site have been obstructed, according to officials.
All three security agencies, the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Armed Police Force have been mobilised for rescue works.
At least four aftershocks with more than 4 magnitude hit Jajarkot after the quake.
Earthquakes are common in Nepal which is situated on the ridge where the Tibetan and Indian tectonic plates meet and advance two meters closer to one another every century which results in pressure which is released in the form of earthquakes.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks killed around 9,000 people in 2015. (PTI)