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No major casualties were reported but the repeated earthquakes are hindering the recovery efforts

UPDATE: New earthquake strikes east of Kathmandu

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    Digital writers

    Saturday, May 16, 2015, 4:07 PM -

    A 5.7 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday at 5 p.m. local time, as the country attempts to recover from two deadly and devastating earthquakes that recently struck the area.

    No major casualties or damage were reported but many organizations in the area took to social media to ask for more assistance.

    Additionally, a missing U.S. military helicopter has been found in a wreckage on Friday, following Nepal's 7.3-magnitude earthquake Tuesday.

    According to U.S. Defense officials, there are likely no survivors. The helicopter carried six U.S. Marines and two Nepali service members.

    The death toll in Nepal has risen above 125 in the wake of the new earthquake devastated the country on Tuesday.

    More than 2,500 are also reported injured as rescuers comb the country for survivors of the tremor, which struck at a shallow depth of 15 km.

    Aftershocks have continued to plague the region.

    Thousands of people have been forced to spend the night in the open, for fear the aftershocks could cause further collapse.

    Ola Dunin-Bell, a surgeon with the Canadian Red Cross's Emergency Response Unit, felt the ground shake as she and her colleagues worked in the town of Dhunche, two hours away from the capital Kathmandu.

    "It was quite significant and fairly prolonged,” she told The Weather Network. "We saw the ground actually moving. We’re basically on the side of a mountain here, and … you could hear a lot of the screaming coming up from the villagers as they were running out of their houses into the street."

    At least 48 people have been reported dead in Nepal by government officials, with more than 1,200 injured. At least 17 people are dead in neighbouring India as well.

    But Dunin-Bell says villages like Dhunche are separated by poor quality roads that were already damaged in last month's Magnitude 7.8 tremor, which killed more than 8,000 people.

    "Now they have had further rockslides, landslides and once again are obstructed, and this is presenting huge challenges for either the local residents to access healthcare, or for us to get out to them," she said.

    As for buildings in the community, the surgeon says many that were already in a precarious condition after last month's quake have now outright collapsed. The hospital was already too dangerous for patients, so the Red Cross team was conducting its work from a fully-equipped tent hospital.

    "I know the focus has largely been on Kathmandu, but it’s these outlying rural regions ... where the people who are probably most vulnerable have had the least access to help and aid and care," she says.

    Now, both rescuers and residents have a new problem: The monsoon season will soon be picking up, making landslides more common.

    "What was already an unstable situation was certainly made worse…and that will be compounded as the rains move in.” Dunin-Bell says.

    In the capital, Nepalese television carried images of people leaving buildings, including the country's parliament, along with new damage, on top of the widespread devastation in the wake of last month's even more powerful Magnitude 7.8 tremor. The quake was felt as far away as New Delhi in India.

    The new quake struck some 80 km away from the capital of Kathmandu, and about 70 km away from Mount Everest, which was swept by a deadly avalanche in the aftermath of the April quake. 

    USGS Geophysicist Zachary Reeves said the quake was an aftershock of the April 25 earthquake.

    "Typically, aftershocks are about a magnitude smaller, but it does happen that they can be almost the same size as the main shock," he told The Weather Network Tuesday morning.

    The new quake's magnitude was 7.3, weaker than the Magnitude 7.8 rating of the April 25 quake. On the moment magnitude scale, each full point represents 10 times as much energy as the previous point.

    "The initial shock released about five-and-a-half times more energy than this one did," Reeves said.

    Om Clinic in Badgol, thankfully evacuated after the last quake, came down today. #Nepalphotoproject

    A photo posted by Alston Angelo D'Silva (@alston.about) on


    How you can help

    Canada will match dollar-for-dollar all eligible contributions to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund until May 25.

    SOURCE: The Weather Network | Reuters | BBC | The Telegraph | CNN

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