Asia At least 157 dead in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Nepal

The Nepal Police this Saturday raised the death toll to 157 in a 6

Asia At least 157 dead in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Nepal

The Nepal Police this Saturday raised the death toll to 157 in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit two remote regions, leaving more than 150 injured, in the deadliest earthquake recorded in the Himalayan country since 2015 when almost 9,000 people.

In the Jajarkot district, the epicenter of an earthquake that occurred at dawn, at least 105 people died and 81 were injured, Nepalese Police spokesman Kuber Kadayat told Efe.

Another 52 people died in the neighboring West Rukum district, where 85 people were also injured, the source said.

The first figures were 136 people dead and more than 140 injured by the earthquake, which has led the Government to mobilize several rescue agencies to respond to the emergency.

According to the country's National Center for Seismology, the earthquake occurred at 11:47 p.m. (local time) on Friday, and originated at a depth of about ten kilometers. The districts of Jajarkot and Western Rukum, in western Nepal, have been the hardest hit by the earthquake, whose death toll is still provisional.

In Jajarkot alone, the Police have confirmed at least 98 fatalities, while in Western Rukum preliminary data indicates 38 deaths, according to sources cited by the 'Kathmandu Post' newspaper.

Initial reports do not offer clear figures of deaths or injuries in other parts of the mountainous region, although there are records of at least three aftershocks in the following hour, with a magnitude of at least 4.2 on the Richter scale.

Videos and photographs posted on social media showed local people digging through the rubble of destroyed buildings in the middle of the night in search of survivors.

Mud houses collapsed or were severely damaged and survivors fled to safety outside, where the sirens of emergency vehicles could be heard.

The shock was felt in the capital of India, New Delhi, located almost 500 kilometers from the epicenter.

Karnali provincial police spokesman Gopal Chandra Bhattarai explained to Afp ​​that they had deployed a large number of security forces to assist in search and rescue efforts.

"The isolation of the districts makes it difficult for information to reach," he said. "Some roads were blocked due to the damage, but we are trying to reach the area via alternative routes."

The district hospital was filled with residents bringing people injured by the earthquake.

Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal traveled to the affected area after expressing "his deep sorrow for the human and physical damage caused by the earthquake."

His Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, said he was "deeply saddened" by the loss of life. "India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is prepared to extend all possible assistance," he added.

Nepal is located on a major geological fault line where the Indian tectonic plate pushes up the Eurasian plate, forming the Himalayas, and where earthquakes are common.

Nearly 9,000 people died in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the country and destroyed more than half a million homes.

The quake destroyed or damaged nearly 8,000 schools, leaving nearly a million children without classes.

It also destroyed hundreds of royal monuments and palaces, including UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, dealing a serious blow to tourism.

It is estimated that the economic losses from the disaster were $7 billion.

In November 2022, six people were killed in another 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Doti district near Jajarkot.

Indian users on social networks then indicated that they had noticed the tremor in the northern cities of Lucknow and Patna.