Officials say death toll expected to rise amid power outage, rescue efforts
At least 128 people were killed and scores more injured after a powerful earthquake hit northwestern Nepal, reducing many buildings to piles of rubble.
Local officials said it had not been possible to establish contact in the area near the epicentre in Jajarkot, a district with a population of 190,000 and villages scattered in remote hills about 400 kilometres from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.
The quake, which hit when many people already were asleep in their homes on Friday night, was felt in India's capital, New Delhi, more than 800 kilometres away.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and occurred at a depth of 18 kilometres.
Police official Narvaraj Bhattarai said over the telephone that numerous houses have collapsed, and many injured people have already had been brought to the local hospital.
Government administration official Harish Chandra Sharma said security officials were working with villagers in the darkness to pull the dead and injured from fallen houses.
He added that reaching some spots was difficult because trails were blocked by landslides triggered by the tremor and its aftershocks.
Earthquakes are common in mountainous Nepal.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015 killed some 9,000 people and damaged about a million structures.
Whole towns, centuries-old temples and other historic sites were reduced to rubble at a cost of $6 billion to the economy.
With files from Reuters
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