A strong earthquake struck eastern Nepal on Tuesday. More than 40 people were killed. Nepal’s home ministry says more than 1,100 others were hurt. The earthquake also shook other parts of South Asia. At least four people were killed in India, with another death reported in Tibet.
American scientists say the quake measured 7.3 in magnitude. They said it was centered about 80 kilometers east of the capital, Kathmandu. Within an hour, six more small quakes hit the area. The strongest of these aftershocks measured 6.3 in magnitude.
Nepal is still recovering from a 7.8 earthquake three weeks ago. It was the strongest quake to hit the mountainous country in 80 years. More than 8,000 people were killed, and thousands of homes destroyed. Rescue workers have yet to reach all of the towns and villages that were damaged by the quake.
Sudarshan Shrestha works for the international aid group Save The Children. He told VOA he was in a hospital in Kathmandu when the quake hit Tuesday. He said the hospital did not appear to be damaged. But he later saw other buildings near it that had collapsed.
“What we saw was like chaos and pandemonium with all the patients inside the building running out, and maybe 300 to 350 people, patients inside the building running out.”
Mr. Shrestha said Save The Children was already having difficulty meeting the needs of people after the April 25th earthquake. He says the new quake and the coming rainy season will make the group’s job even harder.
“It’s going to be difficult to get back on our feet just in terms of responding to relief needs as the monsoon is away in just about four weeks or five weeks time, so we really have to think hard about how we respond to the needs of the people.”
Rose Foley works for the United Nations Children’s Fund. She was also in the capital when the earthquake hit Tuesday. She says aid workers sought safety under tables as their building shook. She says they later went outside.
She said the United Nations is worried about the effect of the second quake on children who were already in need.
The government and aid agencies have been working to provide food, water and shelter. But rescue efforts have been slowed by aftershocks, bad weather and problems reaching isolated parts of the country.
Last week, the U.N. said it needs $415 million to help the people of Nepal. U.N. officials said they had received only $22 million in donations.
Jamie McGoldrick is the chief U.N. official in Nepal. He says the agency needs more money quickly. He says workers are trying to find shelter for people before the monsoon season begins in June. Monsoon rains often cause avalanches and flooding.
I’m Marsha James
This report was based on stories from VOA’s News Division. Christopher Jones-Cruise adapted it into Learning English. George Grow was the editor.
Words in This Story
magnitude – n. a measurement of an earthquake’s intensity
centered – v. to place in the middle of something
chaos – n. disorder
pandemonium – n. uncontrolled activity
just in terms of - expression
relief needs – n. assistance, including necessities such as water, food and shelter
monsoon – n. a time when heavy rains are common
isolated – adj. separated from others
avalanche(s) – n. landslide; when a large amount of snow, ice, dirt and rocks slide down the side of a mountain