04 November 2023Source: Nepali Times
The death toll in the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck western Nepal on Friday at midnight has climbed to 157, and it is becoming clear that most of the fatalities are of women and children.
Of the 36 initially reported killed in collapsed buildings in Rukum West district, 19 were children, some of them babies as young as 10 months old. It is the same story in neighbouring Jajarkot, nearer to the epicentre of the earthquake where more than 110 people died.
The mountainous region is one of the least developed and most remote in Nepal, and families depend on subsistence agriculture. Most of the men folk have traditionally migrated to work in India, or more recently to the Gulf or Malaysia to support families back home. Rukum West is also from where many young people have paid human traffickers to take them to the United States.
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