QUITO — The loss of life from Ecuador’s devastating magnitude 7.8 quake has risen to 602 people, as as dozens of aftershocks shook cities and towns around the country, spooking residents but causing no further damage.
Last Saturday’s quake, the worst in nearly seven decades, injured 12,492 people and left 130 missing, emergency management authorities said in a bulletin.
Survivors were shaken again late on Thursday night when a powerful magnitude 6.0 quake struck off Ecuador’s coast around 100 kilometers north-north-west of Portoviejo and at a depth of 10 kilometers.
“When it started to shake last night we started to pray,” said Alex Bachon, 43, a construction worker repairing damage from the first quake at a hotel in Guayaquil.
“I have never seen anything like this, it’s been so bad.”
There were more than 70 aftershocks throughout Thursday night and Friday, the country’s geology institute reported.
There have been a total of 700 aftershocks since last Saturday’s quake.
The tremors will continue for several weeks, emergency management official Ricardo Penaherrera warned on Friday, and he called on Ecuadoreans to stay calm.
Survivors in the quake zone were receiving food, water and medicine from the Government and scores of foreign aid workers, though President Rafael Correa acknowledged that bad roads delayed aid to some communities.
With close to 7,000 buildings destroyed, more than 26,000 people were living in shelters. Some 14,000 security personnel were keeping order in quake-hit area, with only sporadic looting reported.
Officials say 113 survivors have been rescued from the rubble but hopes of finding more are slim.Follow @gorkhapost
Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded
BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.
The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.
Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.
Transportation has also been halted.
Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.
Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.
The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.
Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.
Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.Follow @gorkhapost