(TibetanReview.net, Apr27, 2015) – At least 20 people were reported dead, four missing, and 58 injured in Chinese ruled Tibet as a result of a devastating earthquake which hit Nepal on Apr 25, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 27. Besides, 1,191 houses and a temple had collapsed, while 5,828 houses and 54 temples had suffered some damage. Altogether, more than 200,000 people had been affected by the earthquake.
A massive earthquake, whose magnitude was placed by different sources at between 7.8 and 8.1 points on the Richter scale, struck Nepal at 2:11 pm (Beijing Time), followed by a second 7.0-magnitude quake at 2:45 pm. The quake occurred in an area east of Pokhara, Nepal’s second biggest city, located 50 kilometres from Chinese ruled Tibet’s border and 80 kilometres from Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. The number of those confirmed to have been killed by the biggest earthquake to hit Nepal in the last more than 80 years reach 2,218 by early Apr 27 morning, whil,e over 6,000 were injured.
China’s online Tibet news service eng.tibet.cn Apr 26 reported that a number of counties in Tibet were hit by the earthquake, including Nyalam, Gyirong (Tibetan: Kyirong), Tingri (Dingri), Saga, Zhongba (Drongpa), Yadong (Yatung or Dromo), Lhaze, and Burang (Purang) in Ngari, Shigatse, Gyantse, Lhoka, and Nyingtri prefectures along the Himalayan belt bordering Nepal and India.
Nyalam and Kyirong were apparently the most severely affected on the Tibetan side. China’s official Chinadaily.com.cn reported Apr 26 that some 7,000 people had been relocated in the county of Nyalam while about 5,000 had been evacuated in the county of Kyirong. Xinhua said that a total of 24,800 people were rellocated in Shigaqtse prefecture, which included the above two countries. Six of the dead and 17 of the injured were reported to be from Kyirong. Among the four missing in Nyalam, one was from Nepal.
Fifty-four temples were reported to have sustained damages in Shigatse, with no reports of casualty as of Apr 26 morning.
The roads from Shigatse to the Nyalam county seat and from there to Tibet’s border town of Zham (Dram) near Nepal’s border were reported to be severely damaged, hampering rescue and humanitarian efforts.
There were aftershock quakes in Tibet too. China’s official media reports said a 5.9-magnitude quake shook Dingri County of Shigatse at 5:17 pm on Apr 25 while a 5.3-magnitude quake had shaken Nyalam County at 1:42 am the same day.
Numerous landmarks and heritage sites were severely damaged or destroyed, including the globally popular ancient Buddhist site of the Baudhanath stupa. The earthquake also caused deaths, injuries and damages in some of the Himalayan border states of India. More than 60 were reported to have died in India.