New Delhi | Fresh tremors were today felt in various parts of India, including the national capital Delhi, even as the death toll in yesterday’s temblor climbed to 57. The fresh tremors, which had a magnitude of 6.9 on the Richter Scale and epicentred in Nepal, were experienced in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi for over 30 seconds at 12:42 PM.
No casualties or damage to property have been reported in the fresh tremors. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called a review meeting to take stock of the relief and rescue operations in the aftermath of the quake.
NDRF Chief O P Singh has rushed to Nepal in order to coordinate operations of the Indian rescue forces and local authorities in the quake-hit country. Singh will be joining the seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams which have already landed in Kathmandu. In view of the aftershocks, all relief operations headed to Kathmandu have been kept on hold till 4 PM.
The tremors, which triggered panic among the people, came a day after a devastating temblor killed over 2,000 people in Nepal. All movement to Kathmandu kept on hold till 1600 hrs due to fresh tremors in Nepal, Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said. IndiGo and SpiceJet flights did not land in Kathmandu and returned as ATC personnel at airport there were evacuated following aftershocks.
With 18 members of the country’s Under-14 girls football team stuck in Nepal following the earthquake, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said they will be evacuated on priority. The toll in yesterday’s disaster, meanwhile, climbed to 57, according to Home Ministry sources. They said another 240 people have been injured in the quake.
Government has announced a compensation of Rs two lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the powerful quake and stepped up relief efforts in the affected states. Fresh deaths were reported in Bihar due to incidents of wall collapse after the quake.
In Patna, Disaster Management Department Joint Secretary Sunil Kumar said that the highest number of eight casualties have been reported from East Champaran district, followed by six each in Sitamarhi and Darbhanga and three each in Siwan, Lakhisarai and Araria districts.
There have been two deaths each in Supaul, Saharsa, Sheohar, Saran and Madhubani districts even as Katihar, West Champaran and Gaya districts recorded one casualty each, Kumar said. In Uttar Pradesh, the toll mounted 13 people with one more person succumbing to injuries in Kushinagar, which was among badly affected district in the state.
So far, 550 Indians have been evacuated by the IAF from quake-hit Nepal. Since 10:40 PM last night, four IAF aircraft have landed from Nepal with 546 Indians on board. The first aircraft to land was a C-130J with 55 passengers on board, including four infants, a defence spokesperson said today.
Around midnight, a C-17 aircraft landed with 102 passengers which was followed by an IL 76 with 152. Around 4 AM, a C17 landed with 237 passengers, all who were evacuated following the massive earthquake that has claimed over 1800 lives.
Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said Indian authorities have responded very proactively, very swiftly and I think every agency, every stakeholder in India who matters in providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in Nepal in times of their need has been activated and the response has been exceptional.
Today, we have planned to send 10 large bodied aircraft carrying loads of equipment of behalf of the Army specially some of their field engineering companies, regiments…One aircraft has already gone airborne and other aircraft is getting ready. The operation will continue the whole day, he said.
India, which was the first to respond to the Nepal crisis, is stepping up its mission with transport planes scheduled to carry equipment, relief material and specialists to Nepal. Also on board with will the Army forward hospitals. National carrier Air India has resumed its flights to quake-hit Nepal with two services- one each from Delhi and Kolkata – leaving for Kathmandu early this morning.
Both the flights left around 7:30 AM with 118 and 45 passengers on board each plane, an Air India spokesperson said. Modi is himself monitoring the situation and has issued directives to ensure timely relief for those affected. He has directed immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams, including medical staff, to the affected areas.
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