Nepal Earthquake

Help began to arrive on Monday in the northwest mountains of Nepal, where a powerful earthquake over the weekend had leveled villages. Residents were digging through the debris of their collapsed homes to salvage what little remained of their possessions.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake struck on Friday just before midnight, leaving thousands of people homeless and 157 dead and numerous injured. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake happened 11 miles (18 kilometers) below the surface. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in Jajarkot, approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of the nation’s capital, according to the National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center of Nepal.

On Monday, the authorities continued their efforts to supply food, tents, medications, and other supplies to the isolated villages, many of which could only be reached on foot. The earthquake also caused landslides that blocked roads. One could see soldiers attempting to unclog blocked roads.

The first phase of the rescue and search teams’ mission, which involved finding bodies, getting injured people to the hospital, and rescuing survivors, was declared complete on Monday.

According to government official Harish Chandra Sharma, “We are currently working on the second phase of our work to distribute relief material, get aid to the villagers, and at the same time we are collecting details about the damages.”

According to the National Emergency Operation Center in Kathmandu, 3,891 houses were damaged and at least 256 people were injured in addition to the 157 fatalities.

On Monday, residents of Chepare were rummaging through heaps of stones and logs that had once been their houses in an attempt to salvage anything.

Nirmala Sharma pointed to her destroyed home and said, “The majority of what belonged to us is under the rubble, all our beds, clothes, whatever jewelry and money we had, it’s all under there.”

On Sunday night, she said, they got a tent and some food. To last the villagers a few days, authorities gave out rice, oil, instant noodles, and salt.

For a fortunate few, tarpaulin and plastic sheets provided makeshift shelters, but thousands more were left to spend a third night in the bitter cold.

Mina Bika claimed that her family was buried when the ceiling collapsed on Friday night while they were asleep. A relative came to their aid. While she and their two sons suffered only minor injuries, her husband sustained severe injuries and was admitted to the hospital in the town of Surkhet.

“It felt like the world had collapsed and I was not sure if anyone had even survived and would be able to help,” she recalled.

Even the few concrete buildings suffered damage, as did the majority of the homes in the villages in the districts of Jajarkot and Rukum, where homes are typically constructed by stacking logs and rocks.

Following a Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Communications Minister Rekha Sharma informed reporters that the government’s immediate priorities were distributing food and establishing makeshift shelters, while plans to rebuild damaged homes were being worked on as well.

Even though it was more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) away, New Delhi, the capital of India, felt the tremor on Friday night.

Nepal is a mountainous country, so earthquakes are common. In 2015, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 claimed approximately 9,000 lives and caused damage to one million structures.