Kathmandu, Nov 4 –A powerful, shallow earthquake struck western Nepal, resulting in a rising death toll that now stands at 128, according to government officials on Saturday. The earthquake, measuring 6.4 magnitude, occurred in the Jajarkot and Rukum West districts of western Nepal at 23:47 local time on Friday night (1802 GMT). Tragically, it claimed the lives of 128 people in these districts and left 140 others injured.
Rescue teams face significant challenges in reaching certain areas due to damaged bridges and blocked roads caused by landslides triggered by the earthquake. The quake had a depth of between 10 to 15 kilometers, and by Saturday morning, an additional four aftershocks with a magnitude above 4.0 had been recorded.
The Nepali government has prioritized the rescue and treatment of the injured in the aftermath of the earthquake. Home Ministry spokesman Narayan Prasad Bhattarai emphasized, “The rescue and treatment of the injured is the first priority.” On Saturday morning, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited the affected area along with health workers, and helicopters were being mobilized to aid in the rescue operation. Moreover, details about damaged houses and other infrastructure were yet to be assessed as the primary focus remained on rescue efforts.
As of now, there are no reported casualties from other districts. This earthquake serves as a grim reminder of the seismic activity in Nepal. In October, three earthquakes above magnitude 4.0 rattled the Dhading district in central Nepal, with one measuring 6.1 in magnitude. The country also endured a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2015, which claimed the lives of approximately 9,000 people and caused extensive damage to more than half a million houses in the mountainous region.
The situation remains challenging, and the Nepali government, along with various response teams, is actively engaged in addressing the aftermath of this recent earthquake.