Monster quake jolts Nepal again; 50 die

Monster quake jolts Nepal again; 50 die

A magnitude 7.3 earthquake killed 50 people and spread panic in Nepal on Tuesday, bringing down buildings already weakened by a devastating tremor less than three weeks ago and unleashing landslides near Mt Everest.

Most of the deaths were reported from villages and towns east of capital Kathmandu, which was only just beginning to pick up the pieces after the April 25 quake that left more than 8,000 people dead.

Nepal’s Home Ministry, while putting the death toll at 50, said 1,117 people had been injured. The earthquake struck at 12:35 pm some 83 km east of Kathmandu near Mt Everest at a shallow depth of 15 km, the US Geological Survey said.

Politicians dashed for the exit of Nepal's parliament building and office towers swayed as far away as New Delhi. The tremors could be felt in Bangladesh too.

The quake had its impact in several cities in Bihar, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and tremors were felt across vast stretches of east and north-east India, where the death toll has reached 19. The tremors were also felt in China, where one woman was killed.

A second earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck about 30 minutes after the magnitude 7.3 earthquake sent terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatised capital. Aid workers reported serious damage to some villages in the worst-affected Charikot area and said some people were still trapped under the rubble.

Villagers who watched their homes collapse said they only survived because they were already living in tents.

“We still don't have a clear view of the scale of the problem,” said Dan Sermand, emergency coordinator at Medecins Sans Frontieres, which surveyed the area by air and saw multiple landslides.

The United Nations has only raised 13 per cent of the $423 million it said was needed to help Nepal recover from the April tragedy, and relief workers warned that even more funding would now be needed.

In Sangachowk, residents were outside receiving food  when the quake struck. “It was real luck. If we were inside, it would have been a lot worse,” said a resident.

Indian and US military aircraft flew more than 60 wounded people to Kathmandu from affected areas. The Indian Air Force has stationed eight helicopters in Nepal.

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