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Deadly Quake in Nepal Leaves 157 People Dead

157 people have been killed in a 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, with officials warning that the death toll could rise.

A devastating earthquake has struck a remote part of northwestern Nepal, resulting in the deaths of at least 157 people and causing significant destruction to buildings. Officials have warned that the death toll is likely to rise. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 5.6, occurred approximately 42 kilometers away from Jumla, Nepal, in Karnali province. It was relatively shallow at a depth of 18 kilometers, and its tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, India's capital.

The immediate focus is on search and rescue operations, according to Nepal police spokesperson Kuber Kadayat. The extent of the damage to houses and infrastructure is not yet known, as efforts are primarily concentrated on saving lives. However, it has been reported that in some villages, an estimated 90% of houses have collapsed. As of now, 157 deaths have been confirmed, making this earthquake the deadliest since 2015.

Jajarkot district, close to the epicenter, has been severely affected, with 105 confirmed deaths and 55 injuries. In nearby Rukum West district, 52 people have been killed and 85 injured. Distressing footage from Reuters depicts numerous houses reduced to rubble in Jajarkot. Earthquakes are a common occurrence in Nepal due to its location where the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, forming the Himalayan mountain range.

The fear of rising casualties stems from the inability to establish contact in the hilly area near the epicenter, located approximately 500 kilometers west of the capital, Kathmandu. Tremors were also felt in Kathmandu. Officials anticipate that the number of injured could be in the hundreds, and the death toll is likely to increase. Many houses have collapsed, while others have developed cracks, leaving thousands of residents spending the night in open grounds due to fear of aftershocks.

Nepal is no stranger to earthquakes, with the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 claiming the lives of at least 9,000 people. It caused extensive damage to one million homes and buildings, resulting in $6 billion worth of destruction. The current earthquake has reignited concerns about the vulnerability of the region to seismic activity.

Efforts are underway to assess the full extent of the damage and provide assistance to those affected. The priority remains on saving lives and ensuring the safety of the affected population. The resilience of the Nepalese people will once again be tested as they navigate the aftermath of this tragic event.

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