Strong Earthquake Kills At Least 132 In Nepal

‘The quake is the deadliest since 2015 when about 9,000 people were killed in two earthquakes in the Himalayan country.’

Strong Earthquake Kills At Least 132 In Nepal

A powerful earthquake that slammed Nepal's western Jajarkot district on Saturday caused at least 132 deaths and numerous injuries, according to officials. The earthquake also caused buildings as far away as New Delhi in neighboring India to tremble.

The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.4, struck on Friday around 11:47 p.m. (1802 GMT), according to Nepal's National Seismological Centre. According to Reuters, the US Geological Survey estimated the magnitude of the earthquake at 5.6, while the German Research Centre for Geosciences downgraded their assessment from 6.2 to 5.7.

This earthquake is the worst since two in the Himalayan country in 2015 claimed around 9,000 lives.

Since they were unable to make contact with the mountainous region close to the epicenter, which is around 500 kilometers (300 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu, where tremors were also reported, officials feared that the number of fatalities from Friday's earthquake may increase. There are 190,000 people living in the area, which is made up of isolated hillside communities.

"It's possible that there will be hundreds of injuries and more fatalities," Jajarkot district officer Harish Chandra Sharma told Reuters over the phone.

According to police spokesperson Kuber Kadayat, there were 36 fatalities in the nearby Rukum West district and 92 in the Jajarkot district in Karnali province. The settlement of Ramidanda served as the epicenter.

An official from the prime minister's office stated that at least 85 people were injured in Rukum West and 55 in Jajarkot. Meanwhile, Sharma stated that at least 50 people were hospitalized in Jajarkot alone.

"Several homes have fallen, and several more have cracks in them. As aftershocks occurred, thousands of locals were too terrified to enter the damaged houses and spent the whole night in the chilly, open spaces," Sharma added. "I have not been able to go in."

According to police official Namaraj Bhattarai, roads blocked by landslides caused by the earthquake must be cleared for search and rescue efforts to reach the affected districts.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal flew to the area early on Saturday with a 16-member army medical team to oversee search, rescue, and relief, his office said.