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Over 1000 killed in massive earthquake of 7.9 magnitude in Nepal

Published on: 26 Apr 2015 @ 0:11

Capital Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur worst affected

More than 1000 people have been killed and many more injured in a major earthquake that rocked many part of India and  Nepal today. The first quake was followed by over a dozen aftershocks measuring over 5 on the Richter scale from many parts of the country.

Nepal Police spokesperson Kamal Singh Ban said that the death toll was recorded as 900 by evening. The number of injured admitted in various hospitals in Kathmandu is over 400. The quake and its aftershocks have affected 29 of the country’s 75 districts with Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur, Kavre and Sindhupalchowk recording the maximum casualties. Two persons have been killed in the Everest Base Camp and 10 others injured. Hundreds of climbers are at present in the base camp to prepare for their climbs next month. According to National Seismological Centre, the first quake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale struck around noon. The epicenter has been recorded as Gorkha, some 140 km west of the capital Kathmandu.

Two major aftershocks, one measuring 6.6 and another 5.8 on the Richter scale took place in Gorkha and Rasuwa within 40 minutes of the first quake.

Many houses and heritage buildings have been damaged in Kathmandu and its sister towns of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. There have been reports of damage from other parts of the country as well. One of Kathmandu’s prominent historical sites, the Dharahara Tower, a 203 feet tall structure erected in 1832, has been completely destroyed. Over 55 people who were inside the tower are feared dead.

Home Ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said that personnel have been mobilized across the country to help in rescue and relief work. The number of deaths could increase, He informed that doctors and para-medical teams have also been deployed to help injured and those trapped in buildings.

Mr. Dhakal said there is an atmosphere of fear across the country and people are staying in open spaces due to the aftershocks. He said aftershocks are still being felt in Kathmandu Valley and people have gathered in open spaces and not entered their houses as the aftershocks continue even after three hours of the first major quake.
Emergency meeting of Nepal cabinet declared all areas struck by today’s earthquake as disaster affected and set aside a sum of 50 crore rupees to the Prime Minister’s relief fund for immediate rescue and relief work.

Hospitals across Kathmandu have been flooded with injured and dead people. The government has ordered all hospitals to remain open and doctors and other staff to be on duty round the clock. There is no power supply in the capital and adjoining areas and residents have gathered in open places to spend the night due to the fear of more damage due to aftershocks.

External Affairs Ministry has set up a 24-hour control room at its office in South Block. Assistance can be sought by dialing +91 11 2301 2113, + 91 11 2301 4104 and + 91 11 2301 7905. People can also email at controlroom@mea.gov.in to sort out their queries related to massive earthquake.

The Cabinet secretariat has set up a 24 hour telephone line for the purpose of Inter department coordination centre including for state governments. The numbers are 011-23016633, 011-23792281. The National Disaster Management Authority also has set up control rooms. The numbers are 011-26701728, 011-26701729 and 9868891801. – – –

President Pranab Mukherjee today said, India is committed to provide every possible assistance to Nepal in dealing with situation arising out of massive earthquake. Mr Mukherjee called upon State Governments and concerned agencies in India to take all necessary steps to provide relief to those affected by earthquake. He expressed condolences to families of deceased and prayed for speedy recovery of injured.

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