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Northwestern Nepal Devastated by Powerful Earthquake with Death Toll Expected to Climb

by Michael Nguyen
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A severe tremor struck districts in northwestern Nepal just prior to the stroke of midnight on Friday, resulting in at least 69 confirmed fatalities and numerous injuries, with ongoing rescue operations scouring the hilly terrain.

Early reports on Saturday indicated an anticipated increase in casualties, with many areas remaining incommunicado post-quake.

The tremor’s reverberations reached as far as India’s capital, New Delhi, situated over 800 kilometers (approximately 500 miles) from the epicenter.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was preliminarily recorded at 5.6 magnitude, occurring 11 miles beneath the surface. The National Earthquake Monitoring & Research Center of Nepal identified Jajarkot as the epicenter, located roughly 400 kilometers (around 250 miles) to the northeast of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal.

In Rukum district, police spokesperson Narvaraj Bhattarai reported via telephone that at least 35 individuals succumbed to the quake as numerous residences crumbled. He mentioned that thirty people with injuries had been transported to a local medical facility.

Adjacent to Jajarkot district, official government administrator Harish Chandra Sharma confirmed 34 deaths. He detailed that in the absence of light, security forces were collaborating with local communities to recover both survivors and bodies from the rubble. Sharma also noted the challenge in accessing certain areas due to landslides caused by the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks, which obstructed various pathways.

Nepal, with its mountainous geography, is no stranger to seismic activity. A catastrophic earthquake in 2015, with a magnitude of 7.8, claimed approximately 9,000 lives and resulted in damage to around a million buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Nepal earthquake disaster

How many people died in the recent earthquake in northwestern Nepal?

At least 69 people have been reported dead in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck northwestern Nepal.

What regions did the earthquake affect?

The earthquake affected various districts in northwestern Nepal, with significant damage reported in the Rukum and Jajarkot districts.

Was the tremor felt outside of Nepal?

Yes, the tremor was also felt in New Delhi, India, which is over 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) away from the epicenter.

What was the magnitude of the earthquake?

The U.S. Geological Survey stated that the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6.

Where was the epicenter of the earthquake?

The epicenter was near Jajarkot, approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

What challenges are rescue operations facing?

Rescue operations are facing difficulties due to disrupted communications, darkness, and landslides that have blocked access to some affected areas.

Are earthquakes common in Nepal?

Yes, earthquakes are common in Nepal due to its mountainous topography. A significant earthquake in 2015 had a magnitude of 7.8 and resulted in about 9,000 deaths.

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