A new earthquake and several powerful aftershocks hit devastated Nepal on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and sending terrified residents running into the streets of the traumatized capital.
The 7.3-magnitude quake struck at 12:35 pm, some 76 kilometers (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, the US Geological Survey said, more than two weeks after a 7.8-magnitude quake which killed more than 8,000 people.
Tuesday’s quake was felt as far away as New Delhi, and officials said it caused buildings to collapse in Tibet in neighboring China.
A second tremor of 6.3-magnitude struck around half an hour later, followed by yet more aftershocks, according to the USGS.
National police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam put the number of injured at 679.
Four more were killed across the border in India, according to officials, while Chinese state media said one person was killed in Tibet.
The ground swayed for close to a minute from the first of Tuesday’s tremors, according to an AFP correspondent in Kathmandu.
“We felt it and suddenly there were huge crowds running up and down,” said resident Suresh Sharma, who was in a vegetable market at the time.
“It was very scary and very difficult to make my way out,” said 63-year-old.
“The last time we had the big quake I ran out of my house and barely escaped. This one felt just like that one. I can’t believe it’s happening again.”
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which has a number of teams on the ground in the wake of the April 25 quake, said four people were crushed to death when buildings collapsed in Chautara, east of Kathmandu.
Police said at least three people had been killed in the Kathmandu Valley while more than 300 people had been injured in the city itself.
The impact was also felt in China and India where officials reported four people dead in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Shaking went on and on
Rose Foley, working in Kathmandu for the UN’s children’s fund UNICEF, said staff dived under tables.
“The shaking seemed to go on and on. We got out to safety as soon as possible. Sitting out in the open it felt like I was on a boat on rough seas as aftershocks hit,” she said by email.
Although the latest quake did not appear to be as severe as the April 25 one, residents were terrified that buildings that were already badly damaged could come crashing down.
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