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Thousands Shiver in Darkness After Quake In Nepal

The recent earthquake in north-western Nepal has left thousands of villagers in the bitter cold, reluctant to return to their damaged or destroyed homes. The sudden earthquake on Friday night claimed the lives of at least 157 people, with most of the houses in villages in Jajarkot district collapsing or being severely damaged. The few concrete houses in towns were also affected, leaving many people without shelter.

As the people of Chiuri village gathered at a makeshift outdoor camp, they were struggling to cope with the loss of their loved ones and the destruction of their homes. Resident Lal Bahadur Bika pointed to 13 bodies wrapped in white cloth, awaiting cremation, as he spoke of the devastation. “We are waiting to cremate the bodies of our villagers and have been trying to take care of the people who were injured in the earthquake,” he said.

The earthquake was also felt in India’s capital, New Delhi, over 800 kilometers away, a testament to the region’s vulnerability to seismic activity. Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal, and this recent quake’s magnitude of 5.6 is a stark reminder of the country’s history of devastating earthquakes, including the 2015 quake that killed over 9,000 people and damaged about 1 million structures.

As the villagers shivered in the darkness, they used whatever they could find to set up makeshift shelters, using plastic sheets and old clothes to keep warm. The lack of access to basic amenities such as food, medicine, and shelter has made it difficult for many people to cope with the trauma and loss.

Thousands Shiver in Darkness After Quake In Nepal.

Rescuers, including soldiers, are working tirelessly to clear blocked roads and deliver aid to the affected areas. Tents, food, and medicine have been flown in, but thousands of people remain homeless, forced to sleep outdoors in the freezing temperatures. At the regional hospital in Nepalgunj, teams of doctors were waiting to help the injured, with over 100 beds made available.

The government is trying to get aid to the affected areas, but the remote terrain and blocked roads are hampering efforts. Besides aid, rescuers are focused on finding survivors, with local TV airing footage of troops recovering bodies and assisting with rescue efforts. The epicenter of the earthquake was in Jajarkot district, which is about 400 kilometers north-east of the capital, Kathmandu.

In Jajarkot district, at least 105 people were confirmed dead, while 52 were killed in neighboring Rukum district. Another 184 were injured, with many struggling to access medical care due to the remote location and lack of infrastructure. The sheer scale of the disaster has left the government and rescue teams scrambling to respond, but it remains unclear how long it will take to rebuild and recover from this devastating earthquake.

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