Nepal earthquake kills at least six villagers, rattles New Delhi

KATHMANDU—At least six villagers have died, four of them children, after an earthquake struck western Nepal. The earthquake destroyed mud and brick houses in a remote area at the foothills of the Himalayas.

The quake struck early Wednesday when all the families were at home and sleeping. The epicenter was near the national park in the sparsely populated Dhoti district, 430 kilometers (270 miles) west of Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.

Local TV news channels showed rescue workers clearing debris for casualties and survivors, while women sat outside watching with babies wrapped in blankets to protect them from the cold. I got

Residents of India’s capital, New Delhi, about 333 miles (536 km) southwest, were awakened by the force of a magnitude 5.6 quake.

Doti’s Purbi Chowki local government chairman Ram Upadhyay said he was in a nearby village when the earthquake struck at 2:12 am (2027 GMT).

“It shook so badly that I immediately ran away,” he said. “We are currently collecting details, including the bodies.”

Doti’s deputy police chief, Bhola Bhatta, said eight houses were destroyed and five people, including two, were seriously injured. Those seriously injured were taken to Kathmandu for treatment.

Nepalese military spokesman Narayan Silwar said at least two people previously reported missing have been safely rescued.

Nepal is still rebuilding after two devastating earthquakes in 2015 killed nearly 9,000 people, destroyed entire towns and centuries-old temples, and cost the economy $6 billion.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who will be reelected later this month, offered condolences to the bereaved family.

Army ground rescue teams rushed to the scene and two helicopters were waiting in the nearby towns of Surkhet and Nepalganj, Shirawal said.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) measured a magnitude 5.6 quake and said it occurred at a depth of about 15.7 km. The Nepal Earthquake Center gave it a magnitude of 6.6.

The quake’s epicenter is about 158 ​​km northeast of Piribit, a populous city in the neighboring Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. There were no reports of damage on the Indian side.

Mrinmay Dey and Gopal Sharma