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Powerful earthquake strikes Nepal

Authorities say a number of buildings have collapsed in Nepal after another strong earthquake, causing casualties. It comes weeks after a major quake in the Himalayan country left thousands dead and many more homeless.

The US Geological Survey placed the quake's epicenter roughly 83 kilometers (52 miles) east of the capital Kathmandu, near the border with China, at 12:35 p.m. local time (0705 UTC) on Tuesday.

Shockwaves were felt as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi, and in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka. In Kathmandu people were seen running out of buildings into the streets.

Officials said at least 19 people had been killed in Nepal, and that the death toll was expected to rise. At least three people were killed in neighboring India.

The government said helicopters had been dispatched to the hardest-hit mountainous regions northeast of Kathmandu, where there were several new building collapses and landslides reported.

Paul Dillon, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, said rescue teams had spent the afternoon searching through the wreckage in Chautara in the northern Sindhupalchowk district.

"The situation in Chautara is that several buildings in the town have collapsed," he said. "There are four fatalities."

The international airport in Kathmandu, a key transport hub for international aid, was temporarily closed.

The quake was measured at a shallow depth of 15 kilometers, and was followed by a string of aftershocks in quick succession.

"I thought I was going to die this time," said Sulav Singh, who rushed into the street in the surburban neighborhood of Thapathali. "Things were just getting back to normal, and we get this one."

Nepal was

devastated by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake

on April 25, which killed more than 8,000 people. Mountain villages were flattened, while large parts of Kathmandu were destroyed, leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

The impoverished South Asian country has appealed for billions of dollars in aid from the international community to help with relief and rebuilding efforts. Humanitarian teams are still working to get water, food, medical assistance and shelter to Nepalis stranded in remote areas.

nm/msh (AP, Reuters)

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