Second major earthquake strikes Nepal[courtesy: USA TODAY]

Margie Fishman and Daniel Sato, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

BHAKTAPUR, Nepal — A second major earthquake struck this mountainous nation Tuesday — 17 days after the first devastating quake — killing 42 and injuring 1,117, the Nepali government said.

The center of the quake was located in an isolated area approximately 11 miles from Kodari, a border crossing from Nepal to Tibet, and 47 miles from the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS initially recorded it as a magnitude 7.4 earthquake, later revising the figure to magnitude 7.3. At least five, smaller aftershocks were recorded after the quake hit just before 1 p.m. local time (3:15 a.m. ET).

It was not clear how much additional damage has been caused to the thousands of buildings destroyed and mountain villages flattened during the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that devastated Nepal on April 25 — killing more than 8,000 people and injured 17,000.

A group of nine volunteers with the Delaware Medical Relief Team, in Nepal this week to deliver medical treatment and supplies, was safe after the latest temblor, members said. As a precaution, the group left their tidy guest house in Kathmandu to bunk at the newer Radisson in town.

Wilmington internist Reynold Agard said the team of doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants and logistics experts planned to complete their work before returning home May 19.

“We’re going try to salvage the mission,” he said.

Newark cardiologist Ashish Parikh was about to perform his third angioplasty of the day at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu when he felt the ground move in waves beneath him.

Doctors immediately closed up the patient and fled the hospital. Parikh watched as one man ran, cradling his frail mother in his arms. Another patient bolted out the door with chest tube in hand.

Doctors finished an open-heart surgery in progress before evacuating the entire hospital in less than an hour, Parikh said. Wailing patients lay in stretchers outside before they were transferred to other city hospitals.

Hospital officials told Parikh the facility would be closed for a month, as staffers observed widening cracks in walls still unstable from the April 25 quake.

At least four people died and buildings collapsed Tuesday in the town of Chautara, about 25 miles east of Kathmandu. Paul Dillon, a spokesman for International Organization for Migration, said at least 10 people were being treated there for injuries. No further details were immediately available.

In Bhaktapur, a medieval city about seven miles outside Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, the ground appeared to roll in waves for about 20 seconds. Residents, still piecing back together their lives after last month’s disaster, had gathered in a central square to receive sacks of rice, sugar and toiletries.

Nearby, children howled into their scarves as they hugged one another and dozens of people came flooding out of buildings into a heavy haze of dust.

Many ran uphill to more densely populated areas or to assist the elderly.

Graduate student Sarjan Hada stood in Palace Square among more than 100 residents who had settled back into the rhythm of outdoor living with blankets and umbrellas.

Hada planned to return to his tent, after spending less than a week in his house since the first earthquake. His modern home was stable, but he worried that its older, ramshackle neighbors would fall on it.

“We thought that the situation was totally under control,” he said. “After this, we start to get scared again.”

In Kathmandu, the quake also sent people rushing out into the streets.

“The shaking seemed to go on and on,” Rose Foley, a UNICEF official based in Kathmandu, told the AP. “It felt like being on a boat in rough seas.”

Police in Nepal advised the public on Twitter to stay in open fields, help keep roads free and suggested sending text messages by phone rather than calling in order not to overload the phone network.

Save the Children, a charity, said its teams on the ground were assessing the impact of the second quake.

“It’s a terrifying time for the hundreds of thousands of children and families who lost everything in the April 25 quake,” the charity said.

People in parts of northern India also reported feeling a tremor and the ground also shook strongly in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital.

Contributing: Jane Onyanga-Omara and Kim Hjelmgaard from London; The Associated Press

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