OAN’s Abril Elfi 9:17 AM – Saturday, November 4, 2023
A 5.6 magnitude earthquake and a 4.0 magnitude aftershock has hit Northwestern Nepal leaving at least 157 people dead.
According to officials, at least 105 people were killed in the Jajarkot district, which is primarily agricultural, and 52 were killed in the nearby Rukum district. Another 184 people were injured.
On Friday, the first earthquake hit at around 11:47 p.m. Friday local time with a magnitude of 5.6, which was also felt in India and China, followed by an aftershock at 4:16 a.m. on Saturday that registered a magnitude of 4.0.
According to local media, most people who were killed were crushed by debris when their houses crumbled.
The high death toll is attributed to residents being asleep at the time of the incident. Additionally, most houses were not reinforced as they were made by stacking rocks and logs.
Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha released a statement on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the administration is attempting to get as much relief as possible to the impacted communities.
He added that tents, food, and medicine were airlifted in as thousands of people became displaced overnight.
Bimal Kumar Karki, one of the first people to be brought to the regional hospital, spoke to the press about his experience living through the fatal earthquake.
“I was fast asleep when all of a sudden it started shaking violently. I tried to run but the whole house collapsed. I tried escaping but half my body got buried in the debris,” said Karki. “I screamed, but every one of my neighbors was in the same situation and screaming for help. It took nearly a half-hour to an hour before rescuers found me.”
Throughout the night, security personnel worked with villagers to rescue injured citizens from collapsed houses.
Authorities have stated that the death toll is expected to rise as more of the affected areas are searched.