Rescue teams are still searching for survivors after the earthquake that hit western Nepal on Friday. More than 150 people died as a result of the disaster, and the authorities reported that up to 90 percent of buildings collapsed in some villages. People who managed to survive mourn their loved ones.
Search and rescue operations underway in Nepal are hampered as roads are blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake. However, it is known that in some places the losses are huge.
– At the moment, we are only focused on the operation, said Kuber Kadayat, spokesman for the Nepalese police, in an interview with CNN on Saturday. – We do not yet have full estimates of collapsed and damaged houses and other infrastructure. We know that in some villages about 90 percent of houses collapsed.
One of the surviving women, Geethakumari Bista, told the BBC that her older daughter was saved, but she lost her younger one. – There were three of us in the same room on the top floor. Everything happened so suddenly, we couldn’t understand what was actually happening, recalls Bista. After their house collapsed, all three of them found themselves under the rubble.
– I screamed from under the rubble: I’m alive too. First they saved my older daughter, but unfortunately they failed to save the younger one. She was 14 years old, she added.
“We felt like we were dying”
In the western district of Jajarkot, where the epicenter of the incident was located, the cries of people who have lost loved ones can be heard. As many as 105 of the 157 confirmed earthquake victims died there. Baljit Mahar, 32, sat cross-legged next to the body of his seven-year-old son.
“We couldn’t save him,” Mahar said. He pulled the child’s body from the crumbling facade of their one-story house.
“We felt like we were dying,” earthquake survivor Laxman Pun told the BBC. His family’s house was damaged. – We don’t know where we will be able to stay, we will probably need tents – he added.
As Harish Chandra Sharma from the Jajarkot district administration told CNN, many houses collapsed and cracks appeared in others. Thousands of residents spent the entire night in cold, open areas because they were too scared to enter damaged buildings.
Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal arrived in the earthquake-hit region on Saturday. He wrote on social media that the country was in “deep sadness for the loss of so many people and property.” He ordered security agencies to immediately launch rescue and relief operations.
Earthquake in Nepal
The earthquake occurred in the western district of Jajarkot on Friday, November 3, before midnight local time, when many people were already sleeping. The tremors were also felt in the Indian capital, New Delhi. The Nepal National Seismological Center reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.4; according to the German Center for Earth Research, it did not exceed a magnitude of 5.7. Within an hour of the first quake, three more were recorded.
Nepali media reported that it was the country’s deadliest earthquake since 2015. About 9,000 people died then.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/NARENDRA SHRESTHA