At least 128 people were killed and scores more injured after a powerful quake hit western Nepal, reducing some buildings in Jajarkot to piles of rubble, video filmed Saturday morning showed.
Local officials said it had not been possible to establish contact in the area near the epicenter in Jajarkot, a hilly district with a population of 190,000 and villages scattered in remote hills. Residents of Bheri were seen climbing over piles of bricks, rocks and wood which were once buildings in the village.
The quake occurred at 11:47 p.m. (1802 GMT) on Friday in Jajarkot district of Karnali province. Jajarkot is about 500 kilometers west of the capital Kathmandu.
Nepal’s National Seismological Centre said the quake was a magnitude 6.4 but the German Research Centre for Geosciences later downgraded the magnitude to 5.7 and the U.S. Geological Survey pegged it as a magnitude 5.6.
In 2015, about 9,000 people were killed in two earthquakes in Nepal. Whole towns, centuries-old temples and other historic sites were reduced to rubble, with more than a million houses destroyed, at a cost to the economy of $6 billion.