Nepal earthquake: Panic in Kathmandu as locals attempt mass exodus

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By Sarah Taylor  with REUTERS, AP
Nepal earthquake: Panic in Kathmandu as locals attempt mass exodus

There were scenes of panic in Kathmandu on Tuesday (May 12) as crowds attempted to flee the Nepalese capital following the second powerful earthquake in just over two weeks.

They’d already been staying in temporary housing and tents since the original devastating quake on April 25.

Kathmandu resident Simos Kshetri explained the feeling of anxiety among the local people.

“We are all afraid to enter our homes or other buildings because we felt such a strong earthquake before and now it’s strong once again. There is so much fear – how can we go inside?” he asked.

The eastern village of Charikot, near the epicentre, suffered severe damage, according to a Doctors Without Borders coordinator. He said an Indian Air Force team had flown 11 injured people from the area to Kathmandu.

At least five people have died in the Indian states bordering Nepal, while Chinese media is reporting one casualty in Tibet.

Marco Confortola was in the Himalayan mountain range during the April ‘quake and filmed some of the tremors.

He spoke of his fear for the safety of the local people.

“The problem is that the structures – the buildings and houses – are not able to cope with the ‘quake,” he told euronews. “Building technique is very poor. What’s more, in a matter of days the monsoon rains will come. With these people outside, away from their homes, it’s very hard for them. All the rescues must be quick.”

Mountaineers hoping to scale Everest, the world’s highest peak, decided to call off the climbing season after avalanches resulting from the April ‘quake killed 18 people.

It seems to have been a wise decision, as the May earthquake struck much closer to the mountain range than the previous one had.