Nepal is hit by 6.4 magnitude earthquake, killing at least 37 people

Nepal is hit by 6.4 magnitude earthquake, killing at least 37 people and injuring dozens more as rescuers search mountain villages for survivors

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An earthquake shook northwestern Nepal districts this evening, killing at least 37 people were dead and injuring dozens more.

Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring & Research Center measured the earthquake at 6.4 magnitude and said its epicenter was at Jajarkot, about 250 miles northeast of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. 

Officials said that the toll was expected to rise, noting that communications were cut off with many villages.

The earthquake killed at least 20 people in Rukum district, where numerous houses collapsed, police official Narvaraj Bhattarai said over the telephone.

Nepal’s National Seismological Centre said the quake occurred at 11:47 p.m. (1802 GMT) in Jajarkot district of Karnali province.

‘We have confirmed reports that five people of a family have died in Aathbiskot village. There are reports of more deaths. We cannot confirm that,’ Namaraj Bhattarai, a police official in neighboring Rukum West district told Reuters, adding that the police was on the way to the site.

In neighboring Jajarkot district, 17 people were confirmed dead, government administration official Harish Chandra Sharma said.

‘I am out in the open myself. We are collecting details but due to cold and night it is difficult to get information from remote areas,’ Jajarkot district official Suresh Sunar told Reuters.

The U.S. Geological Survey had initially said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and occurred at a depth of 17.9 kilometers (11.1 miles).

The quake struck just before midnight when many people already were asleep in their homes. Tremors also were felt in India’s capital, New Delhi.

Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 killed some 9,000 people and damaged about 1 million structures.

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