Disasters & Accidents

Powerful quake rocks Nepal, six dead

Kathmandu, Nov 9 (EFE).- A powerful earthquake rocked western Nepal on Wednesday morning, killing at least six people, including three children, and damaging dozens of houses, officials and eyewitnesses said.

Bhola Bhatta, deputy superintendent of police, told EFE that six people were buried in a house collapse in the western district of Doti.

The dead included three children aged between 8 and 14.

At least seven people suffered injuries and were hospitalized.

The National Seismological Center said the tremor measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale occurred at 2.12 am, with its epicenter at Khaptad National Park in western Nepal.

But the US Geological Survey reported that the quake measured 5.6.

The US agency warned of “some casualties,” saying the impact should be relatively localized.

Local municipal official Khadak Dhami said villagers of Thadagaun, where the six people died, felt multiple shocks before the pre-dawn quake shook the region.

“It was horrifying. Everyone was crying, shouting and running,” Dhami told EFE over the phone.

He said villagers spent the rest of the night out in the cold.

Police and rescue officials arrived at the site at 3.30 am.

Thadagaun is around 800 km from the capital Kathmandu and some 20 km from the highway connecting the Doti district.

Photos and videos on social media showed locals removing debris and searching the houses by lighting torches.

The damaged structures were mud and brick houses.

“The earthquake mostly devastated Thadagaun. We are assessing the damages in other areas too,” Kalpana Shrestha, Chief District Officer of Doti, told EFE.

She said two seriously injured were airlifted to Kathmandu.

Dhami said a 12-year-old boy was rescued from the debris.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba expressed grief over the loss of lives in the quake.

“I have instructed the relevant agencies to arrange immediate and proper treatment of the injured and the victims,” Deuba tweeted.

Tremors were also felt in neighboring India, as people in the capital New Delhi and surrounding regions rushed out of their houses in the middle of the night after seeing buildings rocking.

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