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Rescue efforts resume as Nepal counts cost of latest earthquake

Authorities in Nepal are evaluating what to do next after a new earthquake on Tuesday killed dozens of people. The nation is still struggling to recover from April's earthquake that left 8,000 dead.

Tuesday's 7.3 magnitude earthquake, centered between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, left at least 66 people dead in Nepal, India and Tibet. The quake triggered some landslides in the Himalayas and also sent thousands of terrified people in Kathmandu into the streets.

Nepal's Home Ministry said almost 2,000 people were injured. Thousands of people spent Tuesday night out in the open. Officials are also searching for a US rescue and relief helicopter that went missing in the earthquake zone.

Numbers of dead and injured are expected to rise, amid more reports about isolated Himalayan towns and villages being buried under rubble, mirroring the aftermath of the April 25 quake - Nepal's deadliest in more than 80 years - that left more than 8,000 dead.

Largest aftershock

The US Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake was the largest aftershock to April's quake.

Sindhupalchowk and Dolkha districts were the worst hit, according to the Home Ministry. Search parties are looking for survivors among collapsed buildings in the Sindhupalchowk town of Chautara, which had become a center for humanitarian aid after last month's earthquake.

Sindhupalchowk's deputy administrator, Diwakar Koirala, told Reuters news agency that Tuesday's earthquake caused three more landslides. Geologists are rushing to identify the areas most at risk from rock and mud falls.

US military personnel are responding to the disappearance of the UH-1 Huey helicopter, which was conducting relief operations near Charikot, one of the hardest-hit villages by April's 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The helicopter had dropped off supplies and was heading to a second location when contact was lost, said US Army Col. Steve Warren, adding there had been no visible smoke or signs of a crash.

Warren said it was possible the helicopter landed in an area where the crew was unable to get a beacon or radio signal out.

jr/cmk (AP, Reuters)

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