Nine injured, one missing after quakes jolt west NepalA magnitude 6.3 earthquake and several aftershocks have damaged several houses and triggered landslides.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake jolted various districts of the Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces on Tuesday.
According to the District Police Office, a woman went missing while nine persons sustained injuries following the earthquake in Bajhang, a hill district in Sudurpaschim Province.
Guna Devi Dhami of Okhal village in ward 11 of Jayaprithvi Municipality went missing in a landslide triggered by the earthquake, the police said. The victim was in a nearby forest collecting Sichuan peppers when the incident occurred.
According to Dipesh Chaudhary, the spokesperson of the Bajhang District Police Office, four people in Jayaprithvi Municipality, two in Masta Rural Municipality and one each in Khaptadchhanna and Bitthadchir rural municipalities were injured while they ran in panic following the quake. The injured are receiving treatment at local health institutions and they are out of danger, the police added.
Jayaprithvi Highway, the only road that connects Bajhang with other parts of the country, has been disrupted due to landslides. The landslides blocked the highway in the Mallalagna cliff area of Jayaprithvi Municipality and Jalebagar of Chhabis Pathibhera Rural Municipality.
“The landslides occurred in a sloped area. We haven’t been able to clear the landslide debris due to continued aftershocks. It is still risky to go to the landslide-prone areas,” said Narayan Pandey, the chief district officer of Bajhang.
Many public buildings and private houses suffered damages from the earthquake at various places in the district. “There have been no reports of human casualties so far. It is feared that many houses and structures were damaged in the earthquake,” said Pandey. “Details of the damage and destruction caused by the earthquakes have yet to be received. We are assessing the damage.”
The earthquake of 6.3 magnitude epicentred near Chainpur, the district headquarters of Bajhang, rocked Bajhang and neighbouring districts at 3:06 pm.
Earlier, a mild earthquake of magnitude 5.3 with its epicentre at Talkot Rural Municipality, Bajhang, shook the area at 2:40pm.
The local people have been seeking safe shelters in open areas fearing more aftershocks. “Many houses in Chainpur have sustained damage. People are unable to stay indoors due to the frequent aftershocks. We left our house fearing more tremors,” said Sunil Nepali of Chainpur.
Similarly in Baitadi, an 11-year-old girl of ward 2 in Dilasaini Rural Municipality was injured when a boulder came loose and hit her during the earthquake. The incident happened while the girl was returning home from school. According to Lokendra Bahadur Dhami, a local school teacher, the girl’s left leg was fractured in the incident.
Likewise, several houses and community buildings developed cracks at Shailyashikhar, Mahakali, Naugad and Marma local units in Darchula district.
On November 8, 2022, an earthquake of magnitude 6.6 epicentred in Khaptad National Park area in Doti district had damaged several huts in Sudurpaschim Province.
Earthquake experts say although the western section of Nepal is more earthquake-prone than other regions, the entire country is at risk.
(With inputs from local correspondents).