Kathmandu, 4 November 2023 (TDI): A powerful earthquake struck the western region of Jajarkot in Nepal, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 128 lives, and leaving dozens more injured.

The devastating earthquake, which occurred on Friday, registered a magnitude of 6.4, according to Nepal’s National Seismological Centre. The German Research Centre for Geosciences initially measured it at 5.7, while the U.S. Geological Survey pegged it at 5.6, underlining the severity of the event.

The earthquake is the deadliest to strike the nation since the tragic events of 2015, when approximately 9,000 lives were lost in two major earthquakes. This catastrophe serves as a grim reminder of the challenges Nepal faces due to its geographical location in a seismically active region.

Those earthquakes reduced entire towns, historic temples, and invaluable heritage sites to rubble, resulting in the destruction of over a million homes and incurring a staggering economic cost of $6 billion.

The epicenter of the recent earthquake was located near the village of Ramidanda, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) to the west of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

It impacted Jajarkot and neighboring Rukum West district, both situated in Karnali province. As of now, authorities are struggling to establish contact with the affected areas, especially the hilly region near the epicenter.

According to Jajarkot district official Harish Chandra Sharma, “The number of injured could be in the hundreds, and the death toll could rise as well.”

He further reported that many houses have collapsed, while others have developed dangerous cracks, leaving residents terrified and spending the night outdoors due to the fear of aftershocks.

Namaraj Bhattarai, a police officer, highlighted the challenges faced by search and rescue teams, as landslides triggered by the earthquake have blocked vital roads leading to affected areas.

Also Read: US-Nepal partnership strengthens with $500 million MCC

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has already taken swift action by deploying a 16-member army medical team to the affected region. He expressed his deep sorrow over the loss of lives and property in the earthquake and directed security agencies to launch immediate rescue and relief operations.

The people of Nepal and the international community stand in solidarity with the affected regions, offering their support, thoughts, and prayers during this difficult time.