In Nepal on November 6, 2023 a stressful event took place, a powerful earthquake leaving communities in tense situations and officials concerned about a potentially rising death toll. Just days after a 6.4 magnitude earthquake claimed the lives of 157 people, the nation faced yet another uncontrollable disaster which led to urgency of rescue and recovery efforts.
The first earthquake hit on Friday with a reported magnitude of 6.4, according to Nepal’s National Seismological Centre, while the German Research Centre for Geosciences measured it at 5.7. The US Geological Survey pegged it at 5.6, highlighting the unpredictability of such natural disasters. The epicenter of this tragic event was in Jajarkot, a hilly region approximately 500 kilometers west of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
Officials expressed deep concern about the death toll, particularly in the remote areas near the quake’s epicenter. Communication with these regions remained difficult, further complicating the rescue efforts. Landslides, triggered by the earthquake, blocked main roads, interrupt search and rescue operations.
The aftereffects of the seismic activity have been destructive. Thousands of buildings in Jajarkot and the neighboring Rukum West district have either collapsed or developed hazardous cracks, making them unavailable. Survivors described the horrifying experience of hearing buildings crumble shortly after the earthquake struck, leaving large pieces of furniture scattered and sending people running into the streets.
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Local media documented the destruction, with multi-storied brick houses reduced to rubble, and people rushing into the streets for refuge. These heartbreaking scenes create memories of Nepal’s 2015 earthquake tragedy, where around 9,000 lives were lost, ancient temples crumbled, and over a million homes were destroyed, resulting in affecting a $6 billion economic cost.
This series of earthquakes has also had an effect, with neighboring India feeling the earthquake. In fact, just days after the initial quake, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal once more, causing panic among residents in the National Capital Region.
Nepal’s President, Ramchandra Paudel, had to cancel his planned visit to Europe in light of the country’s ongoing earthquake crisis. His trip, which was set to begin on November 8, involved participation in the Paris Peace Forum and visits to Germany and Italy, with a scheduled return on November 17.
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