As powerful new quake hits Nepal, UN races to deliver aid to those affected

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Urban-search-and-rescue members of USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) at work in Nepal. Photo: USAID’s Disaster Assistance Response Team

12 May 2015 – A 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal today, killing dozens of people, as emergency responders race against time to reach affected populations two weeks after another deadly tremor struck the country killing thousands, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.

The epicentre of the quake was southeast of Kodari, 76 kilometres northeast of Kathmandu – an area already affected by the 25 April quake, OCHA said in a flash update.

The initial quake was followed by several aftershocks including a 5.6 magnitude tremor with the epicentre in Kodari and a 6.3 magnitude one with the epicentre in Ramechhap District. Strong aftershocks continue to be felt.

Landslides were reported in Langtang Region in the Himalayas. Many areas around the epicentre are particularly susceptible to landslides.

There are reports so far of 24 people dead and another 543 injured. Five people were reported rescued in Charikot. Reports of people buried under rubble are also coming in from across the country, including from Tatopani, OCHA said.

Some buildings damaged by the 25 April quake collapsed today in Gorkha District and Chautara. New damage to housing and infrastructure is also being reported across the districts.

The earthquake caused some panic and many people fled to and remain in open spaces.

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The existing camps in Chautara remain open and are accommodating additional people. People in other areas are also expected to remain in the open air areas. The Nepalese Army is requesting additional shelter as it expects people to stay in the open overnight. overnight.

National search and rescue (SAR) teams have been deployed. The Government of Nepal advised it dispatched military helicopters to assess damage and possibly provide emergency health assistance, OCHA has said.

The Government has also asked the hospitals in affected areas, including Kathmandu, to remain on stand-by to treat the injured. No request for international SAR teams was made. International SAR teams, which remain in the country, were requested to support the response.

Source: United Nations

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