9 dead in Nepal's biggest quake in 80 years

After initial panic and chaos, prayers began to be offered in Nepal with the realisation that the earthquake that hit its eastern region and capital city Kathmandu along with India Sunday could have wreaked far greater devastation, being the biggest in almost eight decades. Nine people were killed.

Picking the pieces: Residents clear debris from damaged houses
following an earthquake at Bhaktapur, southeast of Kathmandu. pic/afp

As the resilient Himalayan state began to limp back to normal following a trembler measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale, the toll had risen to at least nine with the news of another unconfirmed casualty, while over 100 people had received injuries with hundreds of houses and buildings collapsing.

The cramped capital, full of decrepit houses and little adherence to building regulations, suffered with three people dying in a wall collapse while over 50 were injured trying to jump down from windows and balconies in the panic.

Panic attack
Police said the 9-ft wall fencing the compound of the British Embassy in the Lainchaur area of the capital, close to the Indian Embassy, collapsed, soon after the jolt, smashing down on a two-wheeler, a car and a pedestrian.

Sajan Shrestha, a 38-year-old security guard employed by the Danish government's aid agency Danida was riding past the embassy on his two-wheeler with his teenaged daughter Anisha when the concrete wall fell on them, injuring both severely.

A passerby, Bir Bahadur Majhi, in his late teens, was also fatally injured.

Army and armed police personnel assisted by locals dug out the three from under the debris and rushed them to the Manmohan Memorial Hospital where all three succumbed to their injuries.

Four more people in a passing car were also injured and were receiving medical treatment, police said.

In Dharan town in eastern Sunsari district, a popular recruitment centre for the Indian and British Armies, Santosh Pariyar, in his 30s, a tailor associated with the Nepal Army, and his nephew Bimal Pariyar, 7, died when the roof of their room collapsed.

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