Kathmandu/New Delhi: India on Sunday launched ‘Operation Maitri’ to rescue people trapped after massive earthquake of 7.9 magnitude hit Nepal, killing more than 1900 and leaving 4,721 injured.
The calamity is said be the worst in over 80 years of Nepal’s history.
The death toll after Saturday’s powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake centered in Nepal has risen to 2,336, officials say.
Most of the dead — at least 2,263 – are in Nepal, the nation’s Ministry of Home Affairs spokesman said today. Neighboring India is reporting 56 dead. Seventeen died in Tibet.
Powerful aftershocks continue in the region, including a 6.7-magnitude quake today. Climbers also said the new quake set off fresh avalanches on Mount Everest, where at least 17 people were reported to have been killed on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had convened a high-level meeting shortly after the quake to assess the situation and directed immediate relief and rescue operations to the affected areas of Nepal and India.
Within ten minutes of occurrence of the quake the Indian Tsunami Early Warning Center (ITEWC) of INCOIS- Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services gave details of the epicenter and the magnitude of the quake.
Meanwhile the Weather Forecasting Center of the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted fairly widespread rain/ thundershower activity over Nepal during next 24 hours. The activity is most likely to become widespread on 27 and 28 April with possibility of isolated heavy thunderstorm activity, particularly over eastern part of Nepal. Similar weather is also predicted for Kathmandu. It has been suggested that precaution be taken against the above weather and also due to possibility of landslides at vulnerable sites.
Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim would also experience fairly widespread to widespread rain/thundershower activity during next 3 days with possibility of isolated heavy thunderstorm. Scattered thunderstorm activity over Bihar and isolated over East Uttar Pradesh would also occur during next 2-3 days.
Air services to Kathmandu were hit again today as flights of Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo failed to land in the earthquake-hit Nepalese capital and returned here as ATC personnel at Tribhuvan International Airport were evacuated following a powerful aftershock. However, Air India was able to operate two flight in the morning, one each from Delhi and Kolkata with 118 and 45 passengers on board.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said that 1500 Indians stranded in Nepal will be brought to India.