A powerful earthquake — the country’s worst in 80 years — rocked mountainous Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 1,800 people and levelling buildings and centuries-old temples. Dozens if not hundreds remained trapped under mounds of rubble.
The quake struck before noon local time about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu in an area that the U.S. Geological Survey calls one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. It is at the spot where the India plate collides with the Eurasia plate in a process that created the towering Himalayas.The quake, which was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan, Lhasa in Tibet, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, was followed by about 15 aftershocks, including one registered at a magnitude of 6.6. At least 34 were killed in India, 12 in Tibet and two in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died on the Nepal-China border. City hospitals were quickly overwhelmed. Dozens were gathered in the parking lot of Norvic International Hospital, where thin mattresses were spread on the ground for patients rushed outside, some wearing hospital pyjamas. A woman with a bandage on her head sat in a set of chairs pulled from the hospital waiting room. Doctors and nurses had hooked up some patients to IV drips in the parking lot, or were giving people oxygen. It was a great disaster in Nepal. May Allah save our lives from these such disasters.
FARIYA AZHAR,
Karachi, April 26.