Earthquake rocks northwest Nepal, felt as far as India’s capital


KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An earthquake shook northwestern Nepal districts, and officials said at least 37 people were dead and dozens more injured as rescuers searchd the mountainous villages.

Officials said early Saturday that the toll was expected to rise, noting that communications were cut off with many villages.

The earthquake killed at least 20 people in Rukum district, where numerous houses collapsed, police official Narvaraj Bhattarai said over the telephone.

In neighboring Jajarkot district, 17 people were confirmed dead, government administration official Harish Chandra Sharma said.

Nepal’s National Earthquake Monitoring & Research Center measured the earthquake at 6.4 magnitude and said its epicenter was at Jajarkot, which is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.

The U.S. Geological Survey had initially said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and occurred at a depth of 17.9 kilometers (11.1 miles).

The quake struck just before midnight when many people already were asleep in their homes. Tremors also were felt in India’s capital, New Delhi.

Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal. A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 killed some 9,000 people and damaged about 1 million structures.

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