Survivors pictured near houses destroyed in Friday’s earthquake at Aathbiskot Ward 14 in Rukum West on Saturday. As many as 27 people died in the ward. Up to five members of a family were killed there, according to police. Mahesh KC/TKP
Pampha Rawat, a resident of Bheri Municipality-1 in Jajarkot, was speaking to her eldest son in India over the phone when the 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the district at 11:47 pm on Friday.
The land beneath her suddenly shook violently and she was flummoxed. The house collapsed and all four members of Pampha’s family, including her husband and their two sons, were trapped inside.
"Our neighbours pulled us out of the debris at around 8 am on Saturday. God saved us," Pampha told the Post on Saturday. The family members, who sustained minor injuries, are undergoing treatment at the district hospital. Six members of another family died in the earthquake at Rawatgaun of Bheri Municipality-1.
Hardly any house remains intact in Khalanga, the district headquarters of Jajarkot, or the entire district. The authorities are yet to assess the total damage.
The devastating earthquake has caused huge losses, mainly in Jajarkot and Rukum West districts of Nepal.
As of Saturday night, at least 157 were confirmed killed while over 375 have sustained injuries in the earthquake with its epicentre at Barekot Rural Municipality of Jajarkot.
"The entire district lies in ruins," said Deputy Superintendent of Police Santosh Roka. "We have prioritised rescue work. We are yet to ascertain the number of houses and public buildings that were destroyed."
According to Roka, 105 people died and around 350 others were injured in Jajarkot, a hill district of Karnali Province. Other 52 people were killed in the neighbouring district of Rukum West.
Around 100 injured are receiving treatment at the district hospital. Chief District Officer (CDO) of Jajarkot Suresh Sunar said that treatment of the injured was hampered by the lack of health workers, equipment and medicines at the hospital. “We have asked for more doctors and medicines from Surkhet and Nepalgunj,” said Sunar.
The district hospital has 50 beds. “We are compelled to treat the injured on the floor and out on the veranda,” said Dambar Bahadur Singh, chairman of the hospital management committee. As many as 10 injured persons brought to the district hospital had died without treatment. Dambar said that the situation eased somewhat with the arrival of health workers from Nepalgunj, Surkhet and Kathmandu.
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