New Delhi, Nov 4: A devastating earthquake rocked a remote area of Nepal on Friday night, resulting in the loss of at least 140 lives and the destruction of numerous homes, according to Nepali authorities. They also expressed concerns that the death toll might continue to climb.
This 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck after 11:30 p.m. local time, with its epicentre located near the Jajarkot district, over 350 kilometres to the west of the capital, Kathmandu. The tremor, which could be felt in Kathmandu as well as in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi, occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 11 miles.
Nepal due to its location in the Himalayan mountains, faces challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, substandard buildings, and widespread poverty in many regions. The aftermath of the earthquake has seen roads blocked by fallen rocks, impeding search, rescue, and relief operations creating massive fear among the locals suffering repeatedly by intermittent earthquakes.
The districts of Jajarkot and West Rukum, both mountainous regions, bore the brunt of the disaster, with 95 casualties in Jajarkot and 37 in West Rukum, as reported by Nepal Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Krishna Prasad Bhandari.
Additionally, hundreds have been injured in the aftermath of the quake. Bhandari emphasized the difficulties in reaching affected areas due to the challenging road conditions.
Prime Minister expresses Deep Sorrow and support
In response to the tragedy, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of lives and extended India’s full support to Nepal. He conveyed his wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.
“Deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage caused by the earthquake in Nepal. India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is prepared to provide all possible assistance. Our thoughts are with the grieving families, and we wish the injured a swift recovery. @cmprachanda,” the Prime Minister stated in a social media post.
Rescue teams are working to clear blocked roads, caused by landslides and debris, to access the mountainous villages impacted by the earthquake. Authorities anticipate that the death toll will rise as communication is reestablished with areas that had been cut off.
Nepal is situated in a geologically active region where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates converge, leading to the formation of the Himalayas and making earthquakes a recurrent phenomenon.
In 2015, Nepal endured two devastating earthquakes that claimed approximately 9,000 lives, reducing towns, ancient temples, and to rubble and causing over a million homes to be destroyed.