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Nepal warning over quake buildings


Rescue workers inspect the site of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu (AP)

Rescue workers inspect the site of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu (AP)

Rescue workers inspect the site of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu (AP)

Officials have walked through quake-damaged streets in Nepal, calling for people to leave buildings in danger of falling after a second major earthquake in less than three weeks.

The evacuation orders came a day after Nepal, just beginning to rebuild after the devastating April 25 tremor, was hit by a magnitude-7.3 quake.

Tuesday's earthquake killed at least 76 people, injured another 2,700 and caused landslides that blocked roads and slowed the delivery of relief supplies.

"There is danger," the officials called out over loud-hailers. "Leave the buildings."

Most people, though, had fled into the open the day before, and had spent the night in tents or under plastic tarpaulins.

Tuesday's quake battered Chautara, a foothills town that became a hub for rescuers and humanitarian aid after the first earthquake. Officials there said at least three people had died on Tuesday and more than 60 were injured.

Jamie McGoldrick, a UN official in Nepal, said the earthquake had aggravated problems in the areas hit by the earlier quake.

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"Damaged houses were further damaged or destroyed. Houses and schools building spared before were affected yesterday, roads were damaged," he said.

Among 14 quake-hit districts, some are very inaccessible. A large part of population could not be reached easily as roads have been damaged by the earthquake.

"Some are even difficult to reach by helicopter. We are facing monumental challenge here to support the government in these districts to have credible response," he said.

Meanwhile, a US Marine Corps helicopter carrying six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers was reported missing while delivering disaster aid on Tuesday in the country's north east, US officials said, although there have been no indications the aircraft crashed.

Home ministry official Laxmi Dhakal said that army helicopters were scouring the Sunkhani area, nearly 50 miles north east of Kathmandu, for the missing chopper.

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