We were not prepared for Tuesday’s quake: Koirala

SansadTV Bureau
File Photo ( PTI )

File Photo ( PTI )

Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Thursday said that his government was caught off guard by the fresh powerful earthquake this week and it is working on a rehabilitation plan to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure, as the total death toll crossed 8,250.

“After the first quake, we were not prepared for it,” he said during his visit to Dolakha to assess the extent of damage caused by Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude quake.

“We will move ahead now,” Koirala said.

He said his government is working on a rehabilitation plan to reconstruct the damaged infrastructure which will be acceptable to all.

But the government’s plan could be implemented only if all political parties work in unity towards it, he added.

“This is not the time to play politics,” he said. “Together we can tackle this calamity.”

His remarks came even as five aftershocks jolted Nepal today, triggering panic among the people as the death toll in the Tuesday’s powerful earthquake climbed to 107.

The quake triggered massive panic among the people, who have been staying in the open since the 7.9-magnitude lethal temblor struck on April 25, flattening thousands of buildings besides destroying entire villages and killing 8,151 people.

Five small tremors — measuring between 4 and 5 on the Richter scale –were recorded near Kathmandu as aftershocks continued to jolt the quake-affected region.

However, no damages were reported from the temblors.

The highest number of casualties from the Tuesday’s quake – 51 people – is from the Dolakha district, situated 75 km east of Kathmandu.

Altogether 211 aftershocks have been reported in Nepal after the April 25 quake temblor that left the country devastated with thousands reeling under the impact of the disaster.

Meanwhile, a seven-storeyed building that had developed cracks due to the quake last month collapsed in Kalanki area of Kathmandu on Thursday. However, no casualties were reported.

Rescue workers are searching for survivors from the latest quake. Search is also on for a US military helicopter that was reported missing with six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers on board while delivering aid.