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Three earthquakes jolt Nepal leaving 6 dead

Nepal has been rattled by three earthquakes in the early hours on Wednesday

Three earthquakes jolted Nepal’s far western region in the last twelve hours, killing at least six people and leaving five injured.

The epicenter of earthquakes was around Khaptad National Park in Doti district, some 90 kilometers west of Dhangadhi, the provincial capital of Sudurpaschim Province of Nepal, according to the National Seismological Centre.

Three earthquakes were felt at 21:07 pm, 21:56pm and 02:12 am, with magnitudes 5.7, 4.1 and 6.6 respectively, the center said on Twitter.

Bola Bhatta, Deputy Superintendent of Nepal Police in Doti district, said that six people including three of the same family died after a house collapse in Purbichauki rural municipality.

“Several houses have collapsed in the incident,” Bhatta told India Narrative over phone, adding that a search and rescue operation is underway. According to Bhatta, the epicenter of the earthquake was in the sparsely populated area.

Rescue work in progress in Nepal

The jolt was also felt in surrounding areas including Dhangadhi, the provincial capital.

Yagya Raj Joshi, a journalist from Dhangadhi, said that they also felt the jolt in the wee hours. “We felt a big jolt at around 2am as we were in deep sleep. Panicked people ran towards an open space near their residence,” Joshi told India Narrative over phone.

The number of casualties is expected to go up as rescue operations are underway. A team of Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police has been deployed to carry out rescue operations in the earthquake-hit areas, officials said.

Nepalese security forces in rescue and relief work

Sher Bahadur Deuba, the prime minister, expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the earthquakes.

“I have also instructed concerned government authorities to intensify rescue operations and provide immediate relief, and treatment to those injured,” Deuba tweeted on Wednesday morning.

According to Indian media reports, the tremors of were felt strongly in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurugram and Lucknow. The epicenter of the second earthquake in Nepal was 90km east-southeast of Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand.

Nepal has witnessed frequent earthquakes and aftershocks after a 7.8-magnitude devastating earthquake rocked Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and flattening homes and buildings, in 2015.

The country is highly vulnerable to earthquakes where tectonic plates of India and Eurasia collide, creating the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau.

(Santosh Ghimire is India Narrative’s Nepal correspondent. He is currently reporting from the India-Nepal border on the upcoming November 20 elections)