Over 24 killed as new quake hits Nepal
A 7.3-MAGNITUDE earthquake struck Nepal yesterday, killing more than two dozen people in the Himalayan country and neighbouring states, as many buildings already weakened by a much bigger quake last month were brought down.
The earthquake was centred 68km west of the town of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet, the United States Geological Survey said. It could be felt as far away as northern India and Bangladesh.
Buildings swayed in New Delhi, sending office workers scurrying into the streets. Residents in the Indian town of Siliguri, near the border with Nepal, said chunks of concrete fell off one or two buildings.
Nepal's Home Ministry said the death toll from the quake had reached 19, with 981 injured.
Five people were killed in Indian states bordering Nepal - one in Uttar Pradesh and four in Bihar - officials said, and the Chinese media reported that one person died in Tibet after rocks fell on a car.
Nepal is still picking up the pieces from the devastation caused by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25, the country's worst in more than 80 years, which killed at least 8,046 people and injured more than 17,800.
Hundreds of thousands of buildings, including many ancient sites, were destroyed and many more damaged.
Mountaineers seeking to scale the world's tallest peak have called off their plans to climb Everest this season after 18 people died when last month's quake triggered avalanches on the mountain.
Dambar Parajuli, president of Expedition Operators' Association of Nepal, said there were no climbers or Nepali sherpa guides at the base camp.
In Lukla, the departure point for treks to Everest, buildings cracked and small landslides were triggered when the ground shook. Locals said three teenage school students were injured.
Susana Perez from Madrid was on a 10-day trek with her husband to Island Peak in the Everest region and was about to reach Lukla. "We saw the mountain in front of us fall down - earth and rocks. There were some houses underneath but it was not clear if they were hit."
In Kathmandu, people panicked and rushed outdoors when the tremors began, Reuters witnesses said. The quake was followed by at least half a dozen aftershocks, including one as big as 6.3.
Medics and volunteers formed a human chain at a Kathmandu hospital to keep a path open for ambulances.
A volunteer at the hospital said five or six injured people had been brought in, two on stretchers. So far, few ambulances had arrived, he said.