Tuesday May 22, 2018
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Nepal quake as powerful as 20 atomic bombs; toll crosses 3500

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Located at the susceptible juncture of the Eurasian and the Indian tectonic plate, the two giant plates that push up Everest by a few millimetres every year, Nepal has seen its fair share of earthquakes over the years.

Not many as powerful as the earthquake that ripped it apart on Saturday though.

According to an expert the earthquake that wreaked havoc in the Himalayan nation had the power of 20 thermonuclear atomic bombs, the Independent reported.

The impact was amplified due to the shallowness of the epicenter of earthquake. Striking at 10-15 kms from the ground, the tremors were felt more strongly because there was virtually  no earth to absorb the shock.

The aftershocks that followed were no less in impact. The tremor that occurred just half an hour after the main earthquake, struck with a whopping magnitude of 6.6. More than 20 others have followed since.

The only solace is provided by the fact that the disaster could have been even worse. Had the earthquake struck the sand and silt areas of Nepal, instead of the solid bedrock of the most impacted regions, the damage would have been compounded manifold.

Officials say more than 3500 people have lost their lives in the disaster till now. The death toll is expected to rise as the devastation becomes clearer.

Also, an additional 6500 people have been seriously injured according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.

Meanwhile, almost 90 per cent of the army is out on search and rescue operations.

Army spokesman Jagdish Pokhrel said, “Just about every member of Nepal’s 100,000-soldier army is currently involved in rescue operations.”

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Nepal, Pakistan agree to revitalise Saarc process

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for "greater peace, security and prosperity in the region"

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  • Nepal and Pakistan agreed to revitalise Saarc
  • This is done to promote greater peace and security
  • It will be apparently beneficial for both the nations

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for “greater peace, security and prosperity in the region” during talks that visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held with the Himalayan nation’s leadership.

Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons
Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons

Abbasi on Tuesday met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme at the Saarc Secretariat here. He also held a meeting with CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in the morning.

Bhandari and Abbasi hoped to reinvigorate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as an important regional organisation. The Pakistani leader said that “issues of the countries in the region should not affect the activities of Saarc and its performance”.

He emphasised the need to make Saarc “more effective” in the days ahead. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual importance, including political, economic, defence and cultural fields.

On Monday evening, Abbasi met his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli and both decided to revitalise the stalled Saarc process.

Also Read: India pulled out of SAARC meeting that is to be held in Pakistan

The Pakistani leader sought to host the 19th Saarc Summit of the regional grouping and asked Nepal to create a “favourable environment” for the same. The summit has been postponed since 2016 after a military attack on an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the attack, India unilaterally suspended its participation from the summit. Several member states rallied behind India’s position.

Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping. Oli’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said “both leaders held a common view on taking the Saarc forum ahead as it was a common platform for all member countries and still significant”.

The step is taken to improve relationships between the two countries.

Addressing a function at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Abbasi said peace, security and mutual friendship were essential for the prosperity of South Asia.

“Pakistan has undivided belief in the Saarc objectives, ideologies and principles,” he said, adding that Islamabad was fully committed to the Saarc charter.

Abbasi also announced doubling the scholarships provided to Nepal by the Pakistan government and proposed to set up a joint parliamentary panel between Kathmandu and Islamabad. IANS

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