At least 128 lives have been tragically claimed, and numerous individuals have suffered injuries following a potent earthquake that struck Nepal's western Jajarkot district on November 4. The disaster unfolded at 11:47 p.m.
local time, registering a magnitude of 6.4 according to Nepal's National Seismological Center. Meanwhile, the German Geosciences Research Center initially assessed the quake at 6.2 but later adjusted it to 5.7, and the US Geological Survey recorded it as 5.6.
The seismic force rippled through the region, causing buildings to tremble even in neighboring New Delhi, India, as various agencies reported. This calamity marks the deadliest earthquake in Nepal since 2015, when the nation endured two devastating earthquakes that claimed the lives of approximately 9,000 individuals.
These earlier quakes reduced entire cities, historic temples, and heritage sites to rubble, resulting in over a million homes being destroyed and incurring an economic cost of $6 billion. Concerns are mounting over the rising death toll, as communication remains severed in the hilly region near the epicenter, which is situated approximately 500 kilometers west of the capital, Kathmandu.
This remote district, Jajarkot, comprises a population of 190,000, with scattered villages in the remote hills. Harish Chandra Sharma, an official from Jajarkot district, expressed that the number of injured individuals may reach the hundreds, and the death toll could potentially climb.
The devastation is particularly severe in Jajarkot, with 92 fatalities, and neighboring Rukum West district, which reported 36 deaths, both located in Karnali province. The epicenter was identified in the village of Ramidanda.
A government official confirmed that at least 85 people sustained injuries in Rukum West, and 55 in Jajarkot. Furthermore, at least 50 individuals were hospitalized in Jajarkot alone. Sharma disclosed that many houses had collapsed, while others developed perilous cracks.
Frightened residents spent the entire night on the cold, open ground due to their apprehension about entering unstable structures during the ongoing aftershocks. Efforts by search and rescue teams are hampered by roads blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake.
To address the situation, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal personally visited the affected area with a 16-member military medical team on November 4 to oversee search, rescue, and relief operations. Local media footage displayed the grim aftermath, depicting the crumbled facades of multi-storey brick buildings, along with scattered furniture.
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