IsraAid in Nepal: Phones down after new quake, people afraid to be indoors

"This is a really big one," owner of handicrafts shop in Kathmandu says.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
May 12, 2015 12:31
2 minute read.

Chabad representative reports from Nepal

Chabad representative reports from Nepal

KATHMANDU - A strong earthquake shook Nepal on Tuesday, sending people in the capital Kathmandu rushing out on to the streets weeks after a devastating quake killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, eyewitnesses said.

"There are people trapped near the Chabad house," Tziporah Lischitz, a local Chabad representative reported. "The whole ground shook under us. The rabbi ran out with his first aid kit to help the injured. The situation again doesn't look good," she said.

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The US Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake had a magnitude of 7.4 and struck 68 km (about 42 miles) west of the town of Namche Bazar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet. It was felt as far apart as New Delhi and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

At least 14 people have been reported dead.

Five died in Sindhupalchowk, the district to the east of Kathmandu that reported the most deaths in the April 25 shaker, district administrator Krishna Gwayali said. He said the deaths were on a highway towards Tibet.

Six more were killed in Dolakha district close to the epicentre, an eyewitness said, adding that rescuers were trying to reach three people trapped in a house. In the capital three people died, a police official told Reuters.

In neighbouring India, at least five people were killed when buildings collapsed. One man was killed by falling rocks in Chinese Tibet.

People in Kathmandu, panic-stricken after the April 25 quake, rushed outdoors, Reuters reporters said.

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.

The quake's epicenter 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.

Last month's quake killed at least 8,046 people and injured more than 17,800. It was recorded at 7.8 magnitude, almost four times stronger than Tuesday's quake.

But a 7.4 magnitude earthquake has the potential to cause significant damage and landslides. 

Following the earthquake Tuesday, Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency IsraAid released a statement in which its head of mission stated that phones were down in Kathmandu and people were outside afraid to come indoors.

"I am worried for vulnerable neighborhoods like Gongabu, where our search and rescue team rescued Krishnadevi last week. The houses there are not sturdy, and many were damaged by the earthquake. We are on the way there now," said Yotam Polizer, IsraAID's head of mission on the ground in Nepal.

IsraAID, an Israeli-based humanitarian aid agency, currently has medical and psychosocial teams on the ground and is distributing goods in in Nepal, in coordination with the Nepalese government, UN agencies, and NGOs.




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