Kathmandu: Fresh tremors today struck Nepal where thousands of fear-stricken people spent the night in the open after a powerful earthquake killed 65 people, as the nightmare continued for the country already devastated by a temblor over two weeks ago that had claimed over 8,000 lives.
The 7.3-magnitude earthquake yesterday brought down homes and buildings, killing 65 people and injuring nearly 2,000, Nepal's National Emergency Operation Centre said.
Most of the casualties were reported in Dolakha district, northeast of Kathmandu. The toll was expected to rise. Police said a total of 32 of 75 districts were affected in the fresh quake and several houses collapsed.
Kathmandu residents prepare makeshift tents on an avenue near their homes as they prepare to spend the night out in the open on May 13, 2015 in the wake of a second earthquake to strike the Himalayan nation. Pic/ AFP
The quake was centred some 83 kms east of Kathmandu near Mount Everest at a shallow depth of 15 kilometres. It was followed by 6.3-magnitude aftershock 30 minutes later and numerous other aftershocks continued into this morning.
According to the US Geological Survey, yesterday's quake was followed by at least 17 strong aftershocks. The temblor triggered landslides blocking roads to remote villages in several districts.
The quake and the subsequent powerful aftershocks forced people out to live in the open under plastic tents barely shielding them from cold last night.
A US military helicopter was reported missing with six US Marines and two Nepali soldiers on board while delivering aid. A search continues for a missing helicopter. Rescue workers are searching for survivors of the latest earthquake.
The quake triggered massive panic among the people, who have been staying in the open since the 7.9-magnitude lethal temblor struck on April 25, killing over 8,000 people and flattening thousands of buildings besides destroying villages.
Nepal's only international airport, the Tribhuvan International Airport, was briefly closed by authorities yesterday and flights to Kathmandu were diverted. A five storied building had collapsed during the quake in Nayabazaar area of Kathmandu yesterday, officials said.
Authorities have ordered all schools to be closed for the next two weeks. Yesterday's quake had its impact in several cities in Bihar, West Bengal and UP and tremors were felt across vast stretches of east and northeast India.
The tremors were also felt in China, where one woman was killed in Tibet.