5.3-magnitude quake rocks Nepal, 55 killed in landslide
KATHMANDU: An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale hit Nepal on Thursday night, a media report said on Friday.
The National Seismological Centre of Nepal said that the epicentre of Thursday's quake was in Sindhupalchowk district, 65 km off Kathmandu, Xinhua news agency reported.
The quake is considered an aftershock of the April 25 temblor that devastated Nepal and claimed over 8,500 lives.
Sindhupalchowk was one of the worse-hit districts in the massive quake of April 25.
According to officials, the people have been experiencing three to four mild tremors almost every day in Nepal since the devastating earthquake.
At least 55 have been killed in several landslides that hit Taplejung district in northeastern Nepal on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, media reported.
Republica, an English daily, said the massive landslides caused the death of 55 villagers in six village development committees and injured over one dozen, while nearly 40 are still missing as of Thursday evening.
Earlier, Shanti Raj Koirala, deputy superintendent of police based in Taplejung district told Xinhua over phone that 21 bodies had been recovered and another 27 people were missing.
Police officials involved in rescue operations said that incessant rainfall caused the massive landslides, burying or sweeping away several dozen houses in the six villages.
Since the search and rescue operation is still underway, and many injured people are in critical situation, the police is afraid that the death toll will continue to rise.
The tragedy happened just before this year's monsoon, which, according to Nepal's weather forecasting division, will arrive in this Himalayan nation within two days, provoking widespread fears that Nepal will face greater casualties in this rainy season after the devastating earthquake and its aftershocks.