Nepal's second earthquake throws life out of gear once again

Kathmandu: Once again, normal life in Kathmandu has been hit hard after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Tuesday followed by 11 aftershocks till Wednesday morning.

This after markets, shops and schools were being opened, and normal life was limping back to normalcy with people gradually forgetting the trauma, pain and grief of the devastating April 25 earthquake.

Nepal's second earthquake throws life out of gear once againA Nepalese resident walks past the rubble of buildings destroyed by an earthquake in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on May 13, 2015. Pic/AFP

After the second massive earthquake within three weeks striking the Himalayan nation on Tuesday, fear, anxiety and insecurity returned to haunt the people, forcing them to live in open spaces and in tents.

Hundreds of thousands of people, who had left Kathmandu in the aftermath of the April 25 quake, were gradually returning when the second disaster struck.

Over 100 buildings developed cracks and were damaged. Even those buildings which were considered safe after the April 25 quake suffered serious damage, according to the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Office (KMCO).

KMCO spokesperson Shantaram Pokhrel said almost all old buildings inside old Kathmandu -- many of them over 100 years old and numbering over 70,000 -- collapsed or were severely damaged on Tuesday.

After Tuesday's quake, several new buildings were also damaged forcing resident to stay in open spaces.

Schools, scheduled to open from May 15, have been ordered shut till May-end. Hundreds of school buildings have been turned into temporary shelters.

Immediately after the quake, Nepal's Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had appealed to the general public to face the prevailing crisis resulting from the natural disaster by exercising restraint and remaining calm.

The new quake and its aftershocks caused additional damage, including in areas already impacted by the April 25 disaster, said the UN Office in Kathmandu, adding that many more people were injured and additional damage to residences and infrastructure was reported.

"People have once again moved to open spaces and we can expect a lot of them to remain in the open. Initial assessment is still ongoing, but it is clear that humanitarian needs will rise," the UN Office said in a statement.

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