Nepal earthquake kills 127 people as survivors scream for rescue in darkness

A devastatign earthquake in Nepal has killed at least 128 people leaving many more screaming for help after being trapped under rubble.

Helicopters and ground troops rushed to help people hurt in a strong earthquake that shook northwestern Nepal districts just before midnight Friday, killing at least 128 people and injuring dozens dozens more, officials said Saturday.

Due to the cut-off location, officials suggest the rescue mission might take a while. Communications are supposedly cut off in many places and rescue teams believe the death toll will rise because of this.

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A police spokesperson from Nepal, Kuber Kadayat, said that rescue helicopters flew in in the morning as forces were spread across the ground digging people out from under rubble. Final death counts are not yet completed as the rescue mission is continuing.

Troops were clearing roads and mountain trails that were blocked by landslides triggered by the earthquake in the Jajarkot district, where the earthquake began. Helicopters flew in medical workers and medicines to the hospitals there.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal also flew in on a helicopter with a team of doctors. Dahal led an armed communist revolt in 1996-2006 that began from the districts that were hit by the quake.

Kadayat confirmed that 92 people were dead and 55 injured in the earthquake’s epicentre district. In the neighbouring area, the quake killed at least 36 people. Numerous houses collapsed, and at least 85 injured people were taken to the local hospital, he said.

At the regional hospital in the city of Nepalgunj, more than 100 hospital beds were made available and teams of doctors stood by to help the injured.

"I was fast asleep when all of a sudden it started shaking violently. I tried to run but the whole house collapsed. I tried escaping but half my body got buried in the debris," said Bimal Kumar Karki, one of the first two people to be brought to the regional hospital.

"I screamed, but every one of my neighbours were in the same situation and screaming for help. It took nearly a half hour to an hour before rescuers found me," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared on social media that he was deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage due to the earthquake in Nepal.

"India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is ready to extend all possible assistance," he said.

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