Nepal hit by another strong earthquake near Mount Everest

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(Reuters) – A strong earthquake shook Nepal on Tuesday, sending people in the capital Kathmandu rushing out on to the streets just weeks after a devastating quake killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes.

The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday’s earthquake had a magnitude of 7.4 and struck 68 km (about 42 miles) west of the town of Namche Bazar, close to Mount Everest and the border with Tibet. It was felt as far apart as New Delhi and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage. Residents in the Indian town of Siliguri, near the border with Nepal, said chunks of concrete fell off one or two buildings.

People in Kathmandu, panic-stricken after the April 25 quake, rushed outdoors, Reuters reporters said.

Parents could be seen clutching children tightly and hundreds of people were frantically trying to call relatives on their mobile phones. Shopkeepers closed their shops and the streets were jammed with people rushing to check on their families.

“I’m heading straight home,” said Bishal Rai, a man in his 20s, who said he was trying to contact his family in the north of the capital.

The quake’s epicenter was close to Everest Base Camp, which was evacuated after an avalanche triggered by last month’s quake killed 18 climbers. Mountaineers seeking to scale the world’s tallest peak have called off this year’s Everest season.

Last month’s quake killed at least 8,046 people and injured more than 17,800. It was recorded at 7.8 magnitude, almost four times stronger than Tuesday’s quake.

But a 7.4 magnitude earthquake has the potential to cause significant damage and landslides.

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