Earthquake 6.8 richter scale Rocks kathmandu

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At least five killed in Nepal quake

Kathmandu, Sep 18: At least five people were killed, three of them in Kathmandu alone where the British embassy was among the many buildings that collapsed, and dozens of others were injured as a major earthquake hit Nepal Sunday, triggering panic and chaos nationwide.

Measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, the quake hit Nepal at 6.25 p.m., lasting for around two minutes and causing disruption of power supply and telephone lines.

The British embassy building here, located in the Lainchaur area, close to the Indian embassy, collapsed after the quake, smashing a car and killing all three in it.

Two more people were said to have been killed in the congested Kalanki area of the capital city but there was no immediate official confirmation.

There was no immediate official confirmation of a large number of deaths in the tea garden district of Jhapa in eastern Nepal, contrary to reports in the Indian media.

Army personnel and armed police battled to remove the debris of teh British embassy and rescue the people trapped under it. Three of the injured died in the Manmohan Memorial Hospital during treatment while at least two more were receiving treatment.

The dead were identified as Sajan Shrestha of Gorkha district, his daughter Ashima and a third man in the car, Bir Bahadur Majhi.

Four others were said to be badly injured and were under treatment at the hospital.

There were angry outbursts from locals and passersby who blamed the embassy authorities for the mishap.

In Sunsari in eastern Nepal, two men were killed, police said. They were identified as Santosh Pariyar and his nephew Bimal Pariyar.

In Sankhuwasabha in eastern Nepal, at least 16 buildings were affected, including a police camp, a bank and a school.

Nepal’s parliament was in session when the quake struck, causing alarmed law makers to scream and run out for safety, causing Chairman Subash Nembang to adjourn the house for some time.

The epicentre of the quake in Nepal was Taplejung and Sankhuwasabha, initial reports said.

Hundreds of people rushed out of houses on to the streets in the cramped capital with little open space, crying and taking the names of gods as the tremors started.

It was the biggest tremor to hit the quake-prone nation after 1990 when thousands of people were killed in Nepal and Bihar in India.

The chaos was compounded by heavy rains and a blackout. Telephone lines were hit and the dark roads were filled with the blare of ambulances.

There have been a series of warnings by international organisations that Nepal would be hit harder than Haiti – struck by a 7-point Richter scale temblor in 2010 – if another killer quake struck, because of the hill nation’s lack of readiness to cope with disaster.

The capital especially is chock-a-block with old decrepit buildings which are endangered and liable to collapse, adding to the crisis.

The disaster comes ahead of the former Hindu kingdom gearing up to celebrate its biggest festivals Dashain and Tihar starting next month.

–IANS


Deaths, destruction as strong quake jolts India, Nepal

Gangtok/New Delhi, Sep 18 : At least eight people were killed and nearly 100 injured Sunday as a 6.8 intensity earthquake violently hit the Sikkim-Nepal border region, jolting large parts of India, Bangladesh and Nepal too.

Tens of thousands scurried out of their homes just after 6 p.m. in numerous cities including New Delhi following the powerful tremor that was quickly followed by two major aftershocks.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the epicentre of the quake was on the Sikkim-Nepal border.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh immediately convened a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority.

In no time, the Indian Air Force flew five cargo planes with relief material and rescue personnel for deployment in West Bengal and Sikkim, which accounted for three deaths.

One of the dead was a child, officials in Gangtok said. Another was Sandipan Banerjee, an official with a pharmaceutical company who died when a house collapsed in Rangpo, 40 km from Gangtok.

Another man died when his vehicle was trapped in a massive mudslide on the outskirts of Gangtok.

The worst, officials said, was feared in the Sikkim-Nepal border region, where mudslides had blockaded roads.

At least five people were killed in Nepal, three of them in Kathmandu alone, triggering panic and chaos all across the Himalayan kingdom, news reports said.

The British embassy in Kathmandu, located in the Lainchaur area close to the Indian embassy, collapsed after the quake, smashing a car and killing three people inside.

Dozens were injured as houses crashed across the mountainous country, snapping communication lines.

Across India, buildings shook triggering panic almost all over northern and eastern India, including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Mizoram.

In Assam’s major city Guwahati, people ran out of their homes.

Power supply was disrupted in parts of northern West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said in Kolkata.

“In no time all the people in my neighbourhood were out of their apartments,” said Anjani Kumari, who lives on Boring Road in Patna, Bihar.

The experience was particularly frightening for those in high rises.

“I was watching TV and for a few seconds thought my head was spinning. When I realised it was an earthquake, I ran out,” said Meenakshi Sinha, who lives on the seventh floor of an apartment complex in Noida.

She said the tremors lasted 30 to 40 seconds.

Lucknow resident Vijay Dutt told IANS: “There were strong tremors. In our building, everybody rushed out fearing the worst. The furniture shook and windows rattled. It was scary,” he added.

In Tripura, officials said the quake was also felt in neighbouring Bangladesh.

This is the fourth earthquake to hit India this month.

An earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter Scale had shaken north India Sep 7 at around with its epicentre near Sonepat in Haryana, 65 km from New Delhi.

–IANS

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