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Nepal Earthquake Tragedy: 157 Lives Lost, India Pledges Support

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake that slammed western Nepal just before midnight on Friday resulted in at least 157 fatalities, including 89 women, and 190 injuries.

Although the epicentre was located in the Jajarkot district’s Ramidanda, some 550 kilometres from Kathmandu, the tremors were also felt in New Delhi and other northern regions of India.

The areas most severely affected were Jajarkot and Rukum West. In Jajarkot, there were at least 105 fatalities and an equivalent number of injuries; in Rukum West, there were 52 deaths and 85 injuries.

The magnitude 7.8 and 7.3 earthquakes that occurred on Friday at 11:47 p.m. (Nepal time) were the deadliest to have struck the nation since 2015. Approximately 8,000 people perished in that year’s two earthquakes.

Officials said the toll was expected to rise. Rescue work was hampered as roads to the hilly area were blocked by landslides in many places. “It took the search team longer to reach the affected areas as the roads were blocked because of landslides,” said Harischandra Sharma, assistant chief district officer of Jajarkot.

The Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and police are coordinating search and rescue operations. “We have been able to save many lives by providing timely first aid and transporting them to local health centres as well as hospitals in Nepalgunj and Kathmandu… We fear the casualty may be higher, we are still in the process of clearing debris and intensifying rescue operations,” said an official at the Nepal Army camp office.

According to the National Seismological Centre of Nepal, 175 aftershocks, including six of magnitude 4 or higher, were registered in Jajarkot.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed India’s willingness to extend all possible assistance. “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,” he tweeted.

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Source: The Indian Express

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