Over a dozen aftershocks jolted Nepal keeping people on edge a day after a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake killed 79 people in the Himalayan nation that had just begun to rebuild itself following the devastation from the temblor less than three weeks ago.
The fresh quake hit the hardest in remote mountainous districts in northeast of the capital city Kathmandu, bringing down buildings and triggering landslides that blocked roads to remote villages in several areas.
The death toll from yesterday’s earthquake has climbed to 79, while the number of injured reached 2,300, according to an official.
Most of the casualties were reported in Dolakha district, northeast of Kathmandu. The toll was expected to further rise.
Rescue workers are searching for survivors from the latest quake. Search is also on for a US military helicopter that was reported missing with six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers on board while delivering aid.
Security personnel rescued 9 Nepalese, an American man and a Korean woman today, airlifting them through a helicopter from Dolakha.
Police said 32 of 75 districts were affected and several houses collapsed due to the fresh quake that was centred some 83 kms east of Kathmandu near Mount Everest at a shallow depth of 15 kilometres.
As many as 13 aftershocks were reported today, most of them centred around Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk, according to Nepal Seismological Centre.
Yesterday’s temblor was followed by a 6.3-magnitude aftershock 30 minutes later. A total of 33 aftershocks struck yesterday and continued into this morning.
Thousands of fear-stricken people spent the night in the open under plastic tents barely shielding them from cold last night.