A FRESH 7.3 earthquake rattled Nepal and northern India on Tuesday (May 12), killing at least 19 people and injuring 1000 in the region as many buildings already weakened by last month’s massive temblor were sent tumbling to the ground.
At least four people were killed in Chautara town in Sindhupalchowk district, north of the Nepali capital Kathmandu, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration said.
Police in the Himalayan nation confirmed at least three deaths, as the government struggled with patchy phone lines to gather information. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were referring to the same people.
Four people were also killed in Indian states bordering Nepal, one in Uttar Pradesh and three in Bihar, officials said.
One person died in Tibet after rocks fell on a car, according to Chinese state media.
The US Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake was centred 68 km (about 42 miles) west of the town of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet.
A magnitude 7.3 quake, it was felt as far apart as New Delhi and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The quake was followed by at least half a dozen aftershocks, including one 6.3 magnitude quake.
The temblor, which struck around 12.30 pm local time, came just weeks after a 7.8 quake killed more than 8,000 people and damaged hundreds of thousands of buildings in Nepal.
The epicentre of Tuesday’s quake was close to Everest Base Camp, which was evacuated after an avalanche triggered by last month’s quake killed 18 climbers. Mountaineers seeking to scale the world’s tallest peak have called off this year’s Everest season.
The latest earthquake unleashed panic in Kathmandu. Parents could be seen clutching children tightly and hundreds of people were frantically trying to call relatives on their mobile phones.
Shopkeepers closed their shops and the streets were jammed with people rushing to check on their families.
“I’m heading straight home,” said Bishal Rai, a man in his 20s, who said he was trying to contact his family in the north of the capital.
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.