KATHMANDU: The death toll from a strong earthquake that hit western Nepal on Friday night has risen to 143, Nepal Police said on Saturday.

The number of injured has increased to 166, Nepal Police said in a statement.

The 6.4-magnitude quake hit Jajarkot and Rukum West districts at 23:47 local time on Friday night, with a depth of 10-15 km, according to the authorities.

Nepal Police, Nepal Armed Police Force and Nepali Army participated in the rescue operation, as the government has prioritised the rescue and treatment of the injured.

Nepal’s provincial governments have announced relief packages for the quake-hit areas, while the Nepali Congress and the Rastriya Swatantra Party offered 5 million Nepali rupees (US$37,800) and two teams of doctors in aid, respectively.

It took time for the rescue teams to reach some villages on foot as roads were blocked, said Harischandra Sharma, Jajarkot’s assistant chief district officer.

“The district is overwhelmed with the injured,“ he told Xinhua. “The infrastructure and human resource are not enough to deal with such a huge number of injured.”

Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha told the media that China and India had offered support in relief and rescue.

Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday expressed deep grief and anguish over the loss of lives in the earthquake.

“Deeply saddened by the loss of lives and damage due to the earthquake in Nepal. India stands in solidarity with the people of Nepal and is ready to extend all possible assistance. Our thoughts are with the bereaved families and we wish the injured a quick recovery,“ Modi wrote on social media.-Bernama

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