Death toll in new Nepal earthquake rises to 50; at least 44 dead in India

The death toll from Tuesday's 7.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal, India and other neighbouring countries has risen to 95, reports said on Wednesday.

Death toll in new Nepal earthquake rises to 50; at least 44 dead in India
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Kathmandu/New Delhi: The death toll from Tuesday's 7.3 magnitude earthquake that shook Nepal, India and other neighbouring countries has risen to 95, reports said on Wednesday.

All India Radio reported that the toll has touched 50 in Nepal while the number of deaths in Bihar from the quake have risen to 42. Two people had died in Uttar Pradesh while one death was reported from Tibet.

The second powerful earthquake in less than three weeks spread panic in Nepal yesterday, bringing down buildings weakened by the first disaster.

Most of the reported fatalities were in villages and towns east of Kathmandu, only just beginning to pick up the pieces from the April 25 quake that left more than 8,000 dead.

The US military's Pacific Command said a Marine Corps helicopter involved in disaster relief had gone missing, with six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers aboard.

The new 7.3 magnitude quake was centred 76 km (47 miles) east of the capital in a hilly area close to the border with Tibet, according to coordinates provided by the US Geological Survey, and unleashed landslides in Himalayan valleys near Mount Everest.

Villagers who watched their homes collapse said they only survived because they were already living in tents.

Aid workers reported serious damage to some villages in the worst-affected Charikot area and said some people were still trapped under rubble. Witnesses said rocks and mud came crashing down remote hillsides lined with roads and small hamlets.

Politicians dashed for the exit of Nepal's Parliament building in Kathmandu, and office towers swayed as far away as New Delhi. Tuesday's tremors that began at around 12.30 pm could be felt in Bangladesh and were followed by a series of powerful aftershocks.

Parents clutched children tightly, and hundreds of people frantically tried to call relatives on mobile phones. Shopkeepers closed their stores and the streets were jammed with people rushing to check on families.

Elsewhere, people huddled in public spaces, too nervous to venture inside.

The United Nations has only raised 13 percent of the $423 million it said was needed to help Nepal recover from the April quake, which measured 7.8. Relief workers said they were already suffering a lack of material before the new quake.

(With Reuters inputs)