The death toll from Tuesday’s earthquake in Nepal has crossed 100 with more than 2,500 people injured, authorities said Thursday. The 7.3-magnitude quake hit the region less than three weeks after a powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed over 8,000 people.
Rescue operations continued Thursday even as bodies buried under rubble were being recovered with the use of heavy machinery. Tuesday's earthquake also claimed the lives of at least 17 people in neighboring India and one person in China. On Thursday, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala visited Charikot, one of the hardest-hit villages by the latest earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.
"After the first quake, we were not prepared for a second one so big," Koirala said, according to the Associated Press (AP), adding that the upcoming monsoon season poses a challenge to the impoverished Himalayan country where hundreds of thousands of people have been left homeless. Nepal's army and police force, along with rescue teams from different countries, have been deployed in the country to carry out rescue and relief operations since the April 25 earthquake, which was the worst one to hit the country in 80 years.
Meanwhile, a major search operation for a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter entered a third day with U.S. and Nepalese military helicopters and hundreds of ground troops scouring eastern Nepal. A team also reportedly sent out a drone on Thursday to look for the missing aircraft, which was conducting relief work in Charikot, about 81 miles from the capital Kathmandu. An aerial search for the aircraft on Wednesday had found "nothing of note," Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said, according to AP.
“We are still trying to locate it. There is no evidence to prove that it has crashed,” Marines spokeswoman Capt. Cassandra Gesecki said, according to the Irish Times.