A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, killing more than two dozen people and injuring more than a thousand in the Himalayan country, as many buildings already weakened by a much bigger quake last month.
Nepal's National Emergency Operation Centre confirmed 42 deaths, with at least 1,117 others injured, but officials and aid workers said they expected the death toll to rise.
The new temblor caused panic in the capital Kathmandu, and triggered at least three big landslides in the district. At least half a dozen aftershocks jolt the area, including one as big as 6.3 magnitude.
The latest earthquake’s epicenter was 83 km east of Kathmandu, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet. It was only 19 km deep, the US Geological Survey said. Shockwaves were felt across the country and in India, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. At least five people are killed in India, and one person died in Tibet.
Panic-stricken Nepalis rushed outside as people were trying to reach relatives on their mobile phones on the streets that were jammed with people, Reuters reporters said.
The earthquake forced politicians attending a parliamentary session in Kathmandu to flee the building when it began shaking. The government is trying to assess the damage as the country’s phone network is affected.
“We are getting messages that many people have vacated their houses and the temporary shelters,” a home ministry official in Kathmandu, Ram Prasad Sharma, told Reuters. “This is only information we have now.”
The earthquake struck Nepal just weeks after the devastating earthquake that killed at least 8,000 people and wounded more than 17,000 on April 25.
The country has appealed for international aid, as well as medical experts to treat the wounded and temporary shelters for homeless before monsoon season arrives.