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Earthquake rocks west Nepal, six killed

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An earthquake on Wednesday rocked Nepal, killing at least six people while they were asleep in their houses. Nearly eight houses collapsed in the quake and cracks developed in most of the houses in the aftermath of the geological event.

The earthquake was felt as far away as in New Delhi and Uttarakhand. The earthquake around 2:12 a.m. local time sent people in the mountain villages panicking out of their houses and many spent the entire night out in the open.

Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba who is also in Western Nepal for an election campaign is safe. He was attending election rallies and meeting people at Dhangadhi district, 160 km South of the epicentre.

Nepal will be going for elections for the federal Parliament as well as the provincial assemblies on November 20.

Kalpana Shrestha, the chief officer of Doti district, said six people were killed when they were crushed in their houses in a remote, sparsely populated mountain village. Five more were injured.

Videos posted on social media showed villagers moving debris by hand to find the victims buried by the earthquake-damaged houses, shining mobile phone lights to move the piles of wood and stones that most of the mountain villages to build houses.

Most of the mountain villages are reached on foot and there are no roads to drive heavy equipment to help with the rescue.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said in a statement he has ordered government officials to provide immediate help to the victims and their families and provide all necessary medical assistance to those wounded.

Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center gave a preliminary magnitude of 6.6. The U.S. Geological Survey provided measurements of a 5.7 magnitude with a depth of 18.1 kilometers (11.2 miles) and its epicenter 20 km (12 miles) east of Dipayal.

Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal, which is home to the tallest mountain.

On October 19, a 5.9-magnitude earthquake jolted Nepal’s capital Kathmandu and adjoining areas, forcing many people to rush out of their homes for safety.

The earthquake was felt in the Kathmandu Valley and neighbouring districts. There was no report of any damage or casualties.

In April 2015, a devastating earthquake of 7.8-magnitude rocked Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and wounding nearly 22,000 others. It also damaged over 800,000 houses and school buildings.

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