At least 137 people have been reported dead currently and numerous others injured after a powerful earthquake struck the western region of Jajarkot, Nepal.
Significant property damage was caused by the earthquake, which was felt as far away as New Delhi in nearby India.
According to Nepal’s National Seismological Centre, the earthquake, which struck at 11:47 on Friday, had a magnitude of 6.4.
The army spokesman said more than 100 people had been injured. Jajarkot’s hospital is packed with the wounded.
“People are scared and staying outdoors,” Rabi KC, mayor of Aathbiskot municipality told BBC.
He said that they felt a very strong jolt at midnight and people rushed outdoors. “Hundreds of mud houses have been completely damaged. We are engaged in rescue and relief efforts.”
Three more tremors were felt within an hour of the quake, and many people have spent the rest of the night in the open because of fear of further quakes and damage to their houses.
Video footage on local media showed crumbled facades of multi-storied brick houses. People were pictured digging through rubble in the dark to pull survivors from the remains of collapsed buildings in posts on social media.
Unicef Nepal said that they were assessing the damage and the toll of the disaster on children and families.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal arrived in the affected region on Saturday, after expressing his “deep sorrow” at the loss of life and property wrought by the quake, on social media platform X. He said he had ordered security agencies to immediately launch rescue and relief operations.
But those search and rescue operations are being hampered by roads becoming blocked by landslides that were triggered by the quake.