Search and rescue operations resumed in Nepal on Wednesday after a gap of nearly two weeks to look for survivors of Tuesday’s major aftershock measuring 7.3 on the Richter Scale.
Till noon, 19 people, including women and children, had been rescued and brought to Kathmandu. The death toll, however, from Tuesday’s aftershock rose to 76 on Wednesday, taking the total death toll from last month’s quake to 8,230.
Nearly 2,000 were injured by Tuesday’s temblor. Most of the 4,050 people from 34 countries involved in the rescue operations following the 7.9–magnitude April 25 quake had left the country last week at the request of the Nepal government.
After the aftershock on Tuesday, medical rescue teams from India, Japan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Canada were mobilised in the affected districts, including Kathmandu and neighbouring Bhaktapur and Lalitpur. Engineering teams from China, India, Canada and US were also working to rescue people trapped under debris and recover bodies.
The aftershocks have caused fresh problems at major government-run hospitals in Kathmandu, some of which suffered major damages and are currently overwhelmed with patients. Fresh landslides also blocked roads.
Meanwhile, the Nepalese home ministry said a helicopter belonging to US Marine Corps that went missing on Tuesday along with six US troops and two Nepal Army personnel had been found in Dolakha. “Com(munication) was lost due to foggy environment (on) May 12,” it tweeted.
With rains predicted over the next few weeks, the UN stressed on providing tents to displaced people.
Nearly 130 aftershocks have been recorded since the April 25 quake, including the one which occurred on May 12. Scientists feel more aftershocks can be expected. “As of Wednesday evening, there have been 129 aftershocks. We cannot rule out more,” said director general of Met department, LS Rathore.
Meanwhile, the toll in Bihar following Tuesday’s quake touched 21 on Wednesday, while 84 persons sustained injuries in different parts of the state.