Another earthquake has rocked Nepal, the US Geological Survey said Tuesday morning, just two weeks after a devastating quake killed over 8,000 people.
Tuesday’s earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter scale and was felt as far away as New Delhi, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, they said; the USGS has downgraded the quake from 7.4.
Witnesses have told news agencies on the ground that the quake lasted at least two minutes – a long time for an earthquake or seismic tremor; however, AFP reports that the quake lasted close to one minute.
The epicenter of this earthquake is Namche Bazar, near Mount Everest, according to BBC – some 160 km (100 miles) from Kathmandu and on the Nepal-China border.
Aftershocks are being reported less than an hour after the original quake struck, with some measuring up to 5.6.
Nepalese and Indian websites are reporting two earthquakes which erupted in quick succession – the Nepal quake and a second in Afghanistan measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. This has yet to be confirmed.
So far, four deaths have been reported in Chautura, and 12 are injured in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk region, where three landslides have been reported, according to Reuters India. Another death has been reported in Teku.
Two people have also been killed in India’s Bihar state.
An official death count has not been released yet, but Reuters reports that 24 have been confirmed dead, including 5 from India, and 981 injured.
Footage of the quake has begun to surface on YouTube, with one video showing high-rises in Kathmandu shaking ominously during the tremor.
On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Kathmandu; 24 hours later, aftershocks measuring 6.1 on the scale again hit the area. At least 8,150 people died and 17,860 were injured.
This quake, unlike the April disaster, was deeper underground, according to the New York Times – some 11.5 miles below the surface vs. 9.3 miles in April. Earthquakes closer to the surface cause greater damage on the surface, it noted.
Israeli aid to return?
Rabbi Hezki Lifschitz, the Chabad-Lubavitch representative in Kathmandu, stated to Arutz Sheva shortly after the news broke that shocks were felt in the city and that people ran from their homes.
Several Israelis are still in Nepal, despite a Foreign Ministry travel advisory against staying there during reconstruction from the previous quake; most are staying at the Chabad House.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has once again offered Israeli aid to Nepal in the quake’s aftermath, Walla! News reports – hours after the Home Front Command arrived home after closing the IDF field hospital in Kathmandu. India has also pledged support and aid for Nepal.
Meanwhile, Nepalese police have warned locals to stay in open areas and for residents and tourists to notify their loved ones of their condition. Kathamndu airport has also been closed until further notice.