A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck western Nepal on Friday, resulting in more than 128 reported fatalities, though officials anticipate the death toll may rise. The strong tremors were felt as far as the Nepalese capital and in neighboring Indian cities, including Delhi.
Following the earthquake, there have been over 100 reported injuries, with a hospital in Jajarkot district overwhelmed by the wounded. Local media footage showed multi-storied brick houses in ruins with individuals trapped beneath the debris.
On the ground, social media pictures depicted people working in darkness to rescue survivors from collapsed buildings. Nepal’s Prime Minister, Pushpa Dahal, expressed deep sorrow for the loss of lives and property and has initiated rescue and relief operations through security agencies.
Suresh Sunar, the police chief of Jajarkot district, mentioned the difficulty in assessing the full extent of the disaster due to the harsh conditions and remote areas.
This shallow earthquake, as described by the US Geological Survey, is the deadliest in Nepal since 2015. Nepal, located in the Himalaya mountain range, is prone to seismic activity.
Notably, in 2015, the country endured two devastating earthquakes that resulted in 9,000 fatalities and 22,309 injuries. While Nepal’s National Seismological Centre measured the latest earthquake at 6.4, the German Research Centre for Geosciences recorded it as 5.7 (downgraded from 6.2), and the US Geological Survey estimated it as 5.6.
For earthquake safety, it’s crucial for residents of earthquake-prone regions to be prepared. This includes having emergency kits, securing heavy furniture, and having an evacuation plan in place to minimize harm during such natural disasters.