News Karnataka
Friday, August 12 2022

Death and destruction as quake ravages Nepal, over 1800 dead

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Update 15:30 – India will wipe the tear of every Nepali: Modi

Update 14:11 – Nepal’s earthquake toll rises to 2,123

Update 13: 15 – 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal northern India again

Kathmandu: Over 1800 people were killed and thousands were injured when a massive earthquake – lasting about 20 frightening seconds – and several strong aftershocks caused widespread destruction in Nepal. India too was affected.

In Nepal, buildings were flattened, roads cracked, telephone connectivity snapped and hospitals grappled with a large number of injured who were extricated from the rubble after the country was hit by the temblor at 11.41 a.m. India time.

The quake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was Nepal’s Lamjung district, some 75 km northwest of capital Kathmandu. Over 50 aftershocks were also felt.

According to Nepal’s Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat, at least 1,570 people have died in the disaster. Citing the Nepal Army, he told reporters that 1,457 bodies have been recovered from various quake-hit sites while 1,055 people were injured.

In Sindhupalchowk district, over 250 were killed. In Kathmandu alone, 181 people were killed, in Bhaktapur 144, and in Lalitpur district 88. Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur together form Nepal’s capital.

Indian Home Secretary L.C. Goel told the media that 34 people were killed in India. There were 23 dead in Bihar, three were killed in West Bengal while eight people died in Uttar Pradesh.The tremors were felt across India, right from Srinagar to Kochi, and Jaipur to Guwahati.

Kathmandu, which is a much sought after tourist destination, bore the brunt of the devastation. People watched in disbelief as a number of its old buildings, including the Dharahara – a nine-storey 19th-century tower – collapsed. There was also damage to the walls surrounding Nepal’s royal palace. The revered Pashupatinath temple did not appear to have suffered any major damage.

Ten mountaineers were killed at the Mount Everest Base Camp when the temblor triggered an avalanche, an official at the Nepal tourism ministry said. The earth heaved and panic-stricken people rushed out of their homes and offices.

A former Nepal minister said there had been “massive damage” at the epicentre Lamjung.

Sadbhavana Party chief Rajendra Mahto told that it was difficult to estimate the loss so soon after the disaster but Kathmandu and its neighbourhood had suffered a lot of damage. “We will need support from neighbours, especially India, and international agencies,” said Mahto, who was a member of the first Constituent Assembly and a minister in several administrations.

The Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu was indefinitely shut on Saturday, resulting in the cancellation of all the eight subsequent return flights from India bound for the capital city.

The airport, according to aviation officials in Delhi, was opened in the evening, but only for non-commercial and relief operations. Some airlines like SpiceJet said they had been asked by Indian authorities to keep an aircraft ready to lift supplies from here and bring back stranded passengers.

Soon after the quake struck, an IndiGo flight for Nepal, which had left at 11:30 a.m. from New Delhi, had to be recalled and the departures of two others were suspended, official here said. The flight of Nepalese carrier Buddha Air, bound for Varanasi, was among the eight flights that were called off.

The daughter of an employee of the Indian embassy was killed when a building in the embassy complex in Kathmandu collapsed.

Over 1,800 dead in Nepal earthquake

The earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday has killed at least 1,805 people, an official statement said on Sunday. The earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, had its epicentre in Lamjung district, around 75 km northwest of capital Kathmandu.

The statement issued by the Nepal home ministry states that the quake has killed 500 people in Kathmandu alone while 164 people, mostly women and children, died in Bhaktapur and 66 in Lalitpur, Kantipur News reported.

The number of casualties may rise, the statement said. The maximum deaths have been reported in Sindhupalchowk district where 80 people lost their lives. The quake has killed 70 in Rasuwa, 57 in Kavre, 40 in Gorkha, 35 in Dhading, 10 in Okhaldhunga, nine in Makwanpur, six in Sunsari and two each in Bhojpur and Solukhumbu.

Historical monuments such as Dharhara and Basantapur Durbar Square and Patan Durbar Square have been completely destroyed by the tremors. In the wake of the disaster, the government has declared national crisis and established a fund of 500 million Nepali rupees (about $4 million) for the reconstruction of the damaged infrastructures.

The tremor also shook India, Tibet, Bangladesh and Pakistan. At least 36 people — 25 in Bihar, eight in Uttar Pradesh and three in West Bengal — were killed and more than 100 injured in India. The impact was felt in many states in India, particularly in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal and Delhi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Helps

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promptly directed dispatch of relief and rescue teams, including medical help to Nepal, as well as to the affected areas in India. He chaired a high-level meeting to review the situation.

Modi spoke to Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who was abroad, and assured all assistance. He also spoke to the chief ministers of affected states in India like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Madhya Pradesh.

A meeting of the Nepal cabinet was held in the evening. It termed the earthquake a national crisis and sought international help.

India has sent two plane loads of relief material and rescue personnel to Nepal. The planes carried 45 rescue personnel and some sniffer dogs to help in rescue operations.

An air force spokesperson said that the Kathmandu airport runway was intact and aircraft could land there. All civilian flights have been cancelled.

Images showed that the quake had left the people of Nepal stunned. Besides capital Kathmandu and Besisahar in Lamjung, the cities which were affected include Bharatpur, Pokhara and Kirtipur.

At least two Indians have died in Nepal

“At least two Indians have died in Nepal. I can confirm only two Indian deaths now — one in the embassy and one in a hospital,” Ambassador Rae said.

Asked about other Indian casualties, he said it was difficult to give exact figures as the phone lines were down and it was tough to contact the proper authorities.

He said the embassy was in touch with some Indians stranded in Muktinath and Jomsom, adding that embassy officials have been dispatched to hotels and hospitals.

The ambassador said that around 250 Indians were being evacuated on Saturday night. Also read: 200 people from Karnataka stranded in Nepal

Indian Air Force planes fetch 546 people

The Indian Air Force planes have fetched around 546 of its citizens, including several infants, back from quake-hit Kathmandu since late Saturday with more sorties firmed up during Sunday, officials here said.

The first Indian Air Force plan to arrive from the Nepalese capital was a C-130J Super Hercules with 55 passengers, including fur infants, on board at around 10.45 p.m., followed by a C-17 Globemaster III, a little after midnight with 101 passengers and an infant.

In the early hours of Sunday, an IL-76 aircraft brought back 152 passengers. And at around 4.45 a.m., another C-17 Globemaster III returned with 247 Indians.

The Indian defense forces as well decided to step up their search, rescue and humanitarian efforts in Nepal on Sunday. “Ten flights are planned for Kathmandu today. These would be airlifting army forward hospitals, engineering task forces, water, food, National Disaster Response Force teams, medical personnel and equipment, blankets and tents,” said Sitanshu Kar, the spokesperson for the defence ministry.

Sunday’s sorties will also involve choppers. Kar said six MI helicopters stationed at Gorakhpur, in north-west Uttar Pradesh, and another six at various places were on standby to be pressed into service.

The first to fly out to Kathmandu was a light MI chopper, followed by five MI-17 helicopters from Gorakhpur. “India will also be augmenting rescue efforts by pressing into service four more helicopters, including two Indian Air Force ALH Dhruvs later in the day,” Kar said.

Over 1,500 people were killed and thousands were injured when a massive earthquake — lasting about 20 frightening seconds — and several strong aftershocks caused widespread destruction in Nepal. India was also affected.

The quake measured 7.9 on the Richter scale. The epicentre was Nepal’s Lamjung district, some 75 km northwest of capital Kathmandu. Over 50 aftershocks were also felt.

Avalanche kills 18 climbers on Everest

A total of 18 people, including foreign climbers, were reportedly killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest which was triggered by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, a Nepal tourism ministry official said.

However, BBC quoted officials and reports as saying that the avalanche on Mount Everest killed at least eight people, and another five in Tibet. An 11-member mountaineering team from the Indian state of Assam on an expedition to Mount Everest in Nepal was reportedly safe.

The team which was at the Base Camp of the world’s highest mountain, rapidly descended after the quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale rocked the Himalayan nation.

“We are safe and are on our way down from the Base Camp to a place called Gorcep,” Pranay Bordoloi, one of the members of the team, informed over phone. The team comprises nine climbers and two managers and has been in the Base Camp since April 18.

Meanwhile, as the powerful temblor hit Nepal at 11.41 a.m., climbers on Mount Everest kept tweeting to apprise well-wishers about their situation while unconfirmed reports stated eight casualties at the base camp. At around 12,00 p.m. Daniel Mazur @danielmazur, a climber from England, tweeted: “A Massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp Please pray for everyone.”

A few minutes later, Mazur’s tweet said: “Aftershock! #Everest team is in camp 1, hanging on. #Icefall route destroyed.” At around 3.00 p.m., Mazur tweeted: “Aftershock! #Everest team is in camp 1, hanging on. #Icefall route destroyed.”

Around 3.00 p.m. climber Ji Davidson from Fort Collins, Colorado, US, tweeted: “We’re safe at camp 1. Apparent earthquake. A Romanian mountaineer Alex Gavan @AlexGAVAN was quoted by club for climbers in a tweet saying that ” Everest base camp huge earthquaqe then huge avalanche from pumori. Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many people up the mountain”

At around 6.00 p.m., Alex Gavan, a mountaineer and photographer, @AlexGAVAN tweeted: “Huge disaster. Helped searched and rescued victims through huge debris area, many dead, much more badly injured. More to die if not heli asap.”

“At least 970 people had died in the quake, and that more than 1,700 injured… At least 539 people were killed in the Kathmandu valley, BBC quoted a national police spokesman as saying in the evening.


Related News:

Nepal earthquake: Hundreds killed, Tremors across India

Major earthquake in Nepal; magnitude recorded at 7.5

Mild tremors in Mangaluru cause panic among people

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