Deadly quake strikes Nepal, toppling homes and killing at least 129 people

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In northwestern Nepal, they were resulting in the tragic loss of at least 129 lives. The earthquake caused widespread destruction and raised concerns about the possibility of an increasing death toll.

The quake, with a magnitude of 5.6, struck approximately 42 kilometers away from Jumla, Nepal, in the Karnali province, its epicenter positioned at a relatively shallow depth of 18 kilometers. 

The seismic waves reverberated as far as the Indian capital, New Delhi, highlighting the substantial impact of the tremors. Nepal police spokesperson Kuber Kadayat relayed the grim news to CNN, confirming the death of 129 individuals and the injury of 140 others, marking Friday’s tremor as the deadliest seismic event since 2015. 

The Jajarkot district, located near the epicenter, bore the brunt of the catastrophe, with 92 individuals confirmed dead and 55 others sustaining injuries. In the neighboring Rukam West district, 37 lost their lives, and 85 suffered injuries, as reported by Kadayat.

Heart-wrenching footage released by Reuters showcased the aftermath of the earthquake, depicting a grim landscape of shattered homes reduced to heaps of rubble and debris in Jajarkot. This visual portrayal underscored the scale of devastation endured by the affected communities in the wake of this natural disaster.

Nepal’s Ongoing Seismic Challenges

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In northwestern Nepal, they were resulting in the tragic loss of at least 129 lives.

Nepal’s susceptibility to seismic activity can be attributed to its geographical positioning, lying at the convergence of the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates, contributing to the formation of the towering Himalayan mountain range. The nation has a history of grappling with the catastrophic consequences of earthquakes, as evidenced by the grim toll of the 2015 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which claimed the lives of at least 9,000 individuals and caused extensive damage estimated at $6 billion, affecting millions of homes and buildings across the country.

Despite the rescue and relief efforts currently underway, officials voiced concerns to Reuters about the possibility of a surge in casualties, citing communication challenges hindering swift response efforts in the hilly terrain surrounding the epicenter, situated approximately 500 kilometers west of the capital, Kathmandu. Harish Chandra Sharma, an official from the Jajarkot district, emphasized the precarious situation, revealing that numerous residences had either collapsed or developed critical structural flaws, compelling thousands of residents to endure the night in the cold open grounds, fearful of aftershocks that continued to rattle the region.

Jajarkot, with its scattered villages nestled amid remote hills, sustains a population of approximately 190,000, further amplifying the complexity of relief operations and access to immediate medical aid for those affected. In the wake of this tragedy, the world stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal, extending heartfelt condolences and support to the grieving families and wishing a swift recovery for the injured. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his heartfelt sympathies, expressing his country’s readiness to provide any possible assistance to Nepal during this challenging time.

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