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Police mobilise rapid rescue squad for Bisket Jatra

Gorkha Post

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BHAKTAPUR — A rapid rescue squad of police is being mobilised for the first time for this year’s Bisket Jatra festival in Bhaktapur.

The rapid rescue team has been set up considering the risk of accidents due to the tremble caused by the rushing wheels of the chariot on the roadside houses damaged in the earthquake, said Police Superintendent at Metropolitan Police Circle Bhaktapur Kiran Bajracharya.

The festival observed in Bhaktapur for eight nights and nine days begins from local Taumadhi on April 9.

A team from Nepal Police headquarters will remain on standby in Bhaktapur with all necessary tools and equipment for rescue and relief.

Considering the risk on many houses supported by external beams in Bhaktapur, the route for the chariots to be taken out during the festival has also been shortened, SP Bajracharya said.

All liquor shops in the areas hosting the festival will be shut considering the possibility of booze-related hooliganism.

CCTV cameras have also been installed at major thoroughfares while plain-clothed police personnel will be mobilised to monitor the crowd, police said.

Many volunteers are being mobilised with the help of Nepal Red Cross Society and local social clubs to help organise the festival in a peaceful manner.

Medical teams will also be put on the standby for immediate treatment of anyone injured.

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Magnitude 8.2 quake rattles Fiji

Thompson Reuters

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A massive quake of magnitude 8.2 struck in the Pacific Ocean close to Fiji and Tonga on Sunday but it was so deep that it was not expected to cause any damage, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The US Tsunami Warning Center also said the quake was too deep to cause a tsunami.

The quake was 347.7 miles (560 km) below the Earth which would have dampened the shaking at the surface.

“I would not expect any damage. People will feel it but it’s so deep that I would not expect any damage,” USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley said by telephone.

The quake was initially reported as a magnitude 8.0 and then upgraded to 8.2, a magnitude that could cause tremendous damage had it not been so deep.

The epicenter was located 167 miles (270 km) east of Levuka in Fiji and 275 miles (443 km) west of Neiafu in Tonga.

The area is located on the earthquake-prone Ring of Fire.

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