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Nepal rescue operation focuses on mountains after latest earthquake

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By Alasdair Sandford  with REUTERS, AFP
Nepal rescue operation focuses on mountains after latest earthquake

Nepal has again been plunged into trauma after the latest fatal earthquake on Tuesday.

A mountainous area east of the capital Kathmandu is the worst affected, while a search is on for a missing US Marine helicopter with eight crew members.

Home ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal says at least 65 people were killed and some 2,000 injured in the 7.3 magnitude tremor, and it’s feared the number of victims could rise.

Existing relief efforts after April’s quake have been complicated.

In Kathmandu more buildings collapsed; many who had only just ventured back into their homes have again slept outdoors.

“People, everybody is scared. Right now nobody stays in the house, everybody is on the road… They are sleeping in (tents)… I don’t know what we have to do, it’s problem. Why is it happening like this?” said Pandap Rizal, from Nuwakot district just north of the capital.

Whole areas of housing were destroyed in the district of Dolakha east of Kathmandu.

Most of the new fatalities were reported in the region’s towns and villages, such as Charikot.

The Red Cross said it had received information about numerous victims at Chautara in the district of Sindhupalchowk, where it runs a field hospital.

Nepali troops are looking for the missing American military helicopter with six Marines and two Nepali army personnel on board.

The helicopter, which was delivering humanitarian aid as part of relief operations, lost radio contact after its crew was heard talking about fuel problems.

Fresh landslides have made access difficult in the region, and the threat of more poses a constant danger.

The earthquake killed at least 17 people in India, with at least one fatality being reported in Tibet.