US helicopter missing, death toll rises in Nepal

US military helicopter working in relief missions goes missing in Nepal with eight people on board, after new earthquake kills scores of people

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A US military helicopter working in disaster relief efforts went missing after a new earthquake killed scores of people and spread more misery in Nepal, as the Himalayan nation was struggling to recover from the effects of the previous 7.8 magnitude quake that claimed more than 8000 lives.

Hundreds of Nepali troops and six helicopters have joined the search for the missing helicopter near Charikot village.

US Pacific Command said six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers were aboard the US Marine Corps helicopter.

A Nepali military official told Reuters that the helicopter might have come down in one of the rivers in the district of Dolakha east of the capital, Kathmandu. Officials worry that the search is diverting resources from much needed relief and rescue work after the second quake killed at least 67 people.

The 7.3 shock forced thousands of Nepalis to spend yet another night outside as they were too afraid to go back to their houses. Around 2000 people were injured in Tuesday's quake.

"Everyone was saying the earthquakes are over. ... Now I don't want to believe anyone," 40-year-old produce vendor Ram Hari Sah told AP.

New landslides blocked mountain roads and damaged buildings collapsed with the latest quake.

The April earthquake had already flattened entire villages, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. It was the country's worst-recorded quake since 1934. The US Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake was the largest aftershock to date of that destructive quake.

Nepal called for international aid to rebuild the country and to provide shelters for those in need before the monsoon season starts.

TRTWorld and agencies