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Midnight earthquake kills 128 in Nepal: Authorities

 Midnight earthquake kills 128 in Nepal: Authorities

At least 128 dead as strong quake rocks northwestern Nepal, officials say toll expected to rise. 

A strong earthquake shook northwestern Nepal districts just before midnight Friday, and officials said at least 128 people were dead and dozens more injured as rescuers searched mountain villages.

Eighty people were killed and more than 140 people sustained injuries in Jajarkot and Rukum districts of Western Nepal, according to state-run Nepal Television.

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake had its epicentre at the Jajarkot district’s Lamidanda.

The impact of the quake that took place 11.47 pm Friday was felt in Kathmandu and surrounding districts, and even in India’s capital, New Delhi, more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) away.

Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ headed towards the incident site with a medical team Saturday morning. Both Nepal Army and Nepal Police personnel have been mobilized to carry out rescue works, officials said.

Government administration official Harish Chandra Sharma said security officials were working with villagers in the darkness to pull the dead and injured from fallen houses. But he added that reaching some spots was difficult because some of the trails were blocked by landslides triggered by the tremor and its aftershocks.

Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 killed some 9,000 people and damaged about 1 million structures.

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