Nepal earthquake left at least 128 dead, dozens injured, prompting massive search and rescue effort

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An earthquake that shook northwestern Nepal just before midnight Friday left at least 128 people dead and injured dozens more, officials said Saturday. Authorities said the death toll was expected to rise as rescue efforts were underway.

The quake, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale, had its epicenter at Jajarkot, a hilly district about 400 kilometers northwest of the capital Kathmandu, according to Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Center. The tremors were felt as far as New Delhi, India, where buildings swayed and people rushed out of their homes.

In Nepal, many houses in the affected area collapsed, trapping people under the rubble. Police and army personnel were deployed to the scene, along with helicopters and ambulances. Local residents also joined the search and rescue operations, using shovels and bare hands to dig through the debris.

Some of the injured were airlifted to nearby hospitals, while others were treated at local health centers. Many people were reported missing, and some villages were cut off by landslides triggered by the quake.

Nepal is prone to earthquakes, as it lies on the boundary of two tectonic plates that collide and create the Himalayan mountain range. In 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude quake killed nearly 9,000 people and displaced millions. The country is still recovering from the aftermath of that disaster, which damaged many historical and cultural sites.

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