Another quake rattles Nepal

nepal-earthquake_kontKATHMANDU. – A deadly magnitude 7.3 earthquake has struck Nepal and sent aftershocks through neighbouring India, two weeks after a devastating quake killed over 8 000 people in the Himalayan nation.

At least 45 people are known to have been killed and 1 115 people injured in yesterday’s quake, which struck the town of Namche Bazaar near the Mount Everest base camp, Nepalese officials said.

India’s home ministry said another 17 people were killed in India, mostly in the northern Bihar state, and tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi.

One person was also reported killed in Tibet.

The quake, which struck the town of Namche Bazaar near Nepal’s Mount Everest base camp, was measured at a shallow depth of about 18km.

A series of aftershocks – including one 6.3 magnitude tremor – later hit in the same area, the USGS reported.

At least 19 buildings have collapsed, officials said, including 10 in Kathmandu.

Police issued a public warning, calling for people to stay in open areas and to send text messages instead of making calls, to prevent the network from becoming jammed.

Al Jazeera’s Annette Ekin, reporting from Kathmandu, said that there was “utter panic” in the capital following the quake.

“The earth just started rolling. Everyone ran out onto the streets and all of the shops are now shuttered,” she said, adding that the quake seemed to last about 30 seconds.

A woman who works for a finance company in Thamel, in Kathmandu, told Al Jazeera that she had clung to a pillar inside her building when the quake struck.

“I was screaming. It felt like the house was falling,” she said.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, also reporting from Kathmandu, said the quake was so powerful that it made the building he was in “feel like jelly”.

Simmons said there was a powerful aftershock 45 minutes after yesterday’s quake was felt.

Hours after the quake struck, our correspondent Ekin said that no one in Kathmandu appeared willing to go back indoors.

“Everyone is outside in the streets. At my hotel, all of the staff and guests are sitting around outside, waiting for more information,” she said.

Ekin later went to Kathmandu’s Nayabazar district, where a four-storey building had collapsed.

While there were unconfirmed reports of people trapped under the rubble, she said authorities outside the building said no one had been killed.

Al Jazeera’s Subina Shrestha, who is also in Kathmandu, said emergency services were quick to respond to yesterday’s quake.

“The army, the police, all managed to come out almost immediately. At the hospital, because there were already volunteers working there, they managed to provide services quickly,” Shrestha said.

Shrestha said it was difficult to estimate the extent of the damage, because although this earthquake was smaller than the one two weeks ago, the damage was more spread out and it would take emergency services time to reach affected areas.

“It’s just the beginning. There have been landslides, there are buildings where they haven’t been able to remove the debris, so it will take some time.”

Kathmandu’s airport has been closed following the quake.

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, killing at least 8,046 people and injuring more than 17,800. – Al Jazeera.