A magnitude 6.7 aftershock rumbled through Kathmandu on Sunday morning, just a day after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake ravaged Nepal and killed more than 2,500 people.
This earthquake, which struck 17 km south of Kodari, Nepal, was one of 30 aftershocks that happened within 24 hours. Almost all of which were above 4.0 magnitude.
The magnitude 6.7 earthquake is said to have occurred at 1:09 p.m. local time (7:09 a.m. GMT), and it was followed by another 5.0-magnitude quake, less than 20 minutes later.
An avalanche in the Himalayan Mountains was triggered by the earthquake, and tremors were felt in the Indian Capital, New Dehli, which is more than 1,000 km away.
According to RT, the New Dehli Metro system was halted to a standstill, and the Kathmandu Airport was closed after the 6.7 aftershock struck. Although the U.S. Geological Survey measured the quake at 6.7, the Indian Meteorological Department said it was at a magnitude of 6.9.
So far there have been no official reports of casualties from this recent aftershock.
“An earthquake that long set off avalanches all the way around us,” Jon Reiter, an American mountaineer at the Napelese base camp, told CNN. “And they came down — they were large, they were massive avalanches.”
NPR reports that after Saturday’s earthquake the total number of confirmed dead in Nepal was 2,430, with 61 confirmed dead in India and several in the Tibet region of China and Bangladesh. Among those who perished were at least three U.S. citizens.
The death toll is expected to rise as there are still missing bodies buried under the rubble, and rescue workers are still trying to reach remote regions in the mountainous nation of 28 million people.
— UN OCHA Asia Pacific (@OCHAAsiaPac) April 25, 2015
India has sent four aircrafts carrying 450 disaster-response personnel and a mobile hospital. And China dispatched a 62-member search team.
However, due to severed communication and landslides, the efforts of many rescue workers have been greatly delayed.
A statement from the Pentagon said a U.S. military C-17 Globemaster departed Dover Air Force Base bound for Nepal. This transport includes 45 square tons of cargo, and 70 personnel including USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue team and several journalists.
This is the most severe earthquake in the region since a massive one struck in 1934, which all but demolished the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan. This earthquake measured 8.1-magnitude and claimed more than 10,000 lives.
With the fear of more aftershocks to come, tens of thousands of Nepalese have chosen to sleep under the night sky or in their cars.
“The aftershocks keep coming… so people don’t know what to expect,” said Sanjay Karki, Nepal country head for global aid agency Mercy Corps. “All the open spaces in Kathmandu are packed with people who are camping outdoors. When the aftershocks come you cannot imagine the fear. You can hear women and children crying.”
[Image via Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters/RT]