Saturday, April 25, 2015

More than 1,000 killed in Nepal quake

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake killed more than 1,300 people on Saturday, Nepalese authorities said, with tremors felt as far as New Delhi. The quake toppled a famed 19th-century tower in Kathmandu and triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.

The death toll surpassed 1,341 late on Saturday, a Nepalese police spokesman said, and is expected to rise further. Half of the casualties were in the Kathmandu Valley, but little information was immediately available from outlying areas of the mountainous country.

  • The quake triggered an avalanche at a base camp on Mount Everest, killing at least 10 people.
  • The worst quake to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in more than 80 years was relatively shallow, which intensified the damage at the surface.
"Hundreds of people are feared dead and there are reports of widespread damage to property. The devastation is not confined to some areas of Nepal. Almost the entire country has been hit," said Krishna Prasad Dhakal, deputy chief of mission at Nepal’s embassy in New Delhi.

"We are totally cut off from most parts of our country," said Ram Narayan Pandey of the Nepal Disaster Management Authority, who was coordinating relief efforts from Kathmandu.

Another 36 fatalities were reported in northern India, 12 in Chinese Tibet and four people were killed in Bangladesh.

India was the first to respond to calls for foreign aid, sending military aircraft along with medical equipment and relief teams. The United States will send a disaster response team and has authorised an initial $1 million to address immediate aid needs, the US Agency for International Development said. An Israeli army statement announced that a military delegation of "medical, search-and-rescue, logistics and population assistance professionals" was due to fly out at midnight.

Tower toppled

A 19th-century tower collapsed in Kathmandu when the quake struck shortly before noon local time, with local media reporting that at least 50 people had been trapped there.

The Dharara Tower, built in 1832, was a landmark that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years and had a viewing balcony.

A stump just 10 metres (33 feet) high was all that was left of the 14-storey structure. Several bodies were brought away from the ruins.

At the main hospital in Kathmandu, people with broken limbs and arms were being rushed in for treatment. "There are people everyone where in the corridors and out in the field," said a Reuters reporter.

Television news footage showed people being treated on the streets outside hospitals and several bodies lying in rows, covered in blankets.

Kathmandu is home to ancient wooden Hindu temples. Photographs posted online showed buildings reduced to rubble, with large cracks along roads and residents sitting in the street holding babies.

Everest avalanche

The quake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, according to climbers there, raising fears for those on the world’s highest peak a year after a massive snowslide caused the deadliest incident on the world’s highest mountain.

Romanian climber Alex Gavan said on Twitter that there had been a "huge avalanche" and "many, many" people were up on the mountain. "Running for life from my tent," Gavan said. "Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche."

Another climber, Daniel Mazur, said Everest base camp had been "severely damaged" and his team was trapped. "Please pray for everyone," he said on his Twitter page.

An avalanche in April 2014 just above the base camp on Mount Everest killed 16 Nepali guides. April is one of the most popular times to climb Everest before rain and clouds cloak the mountain at the end of next month.

The quake was the worst to hit the region in more than eight decades, since an 8.3-magnitude quake killed more than 8,500 Nepalese in 1934.

Far and wide

Tremors were felt as far away as New Delhi and other northern cities in India, with reports that they had lasted up to a minute.

"Massive tremors have been felt here in Delhi and several other parts of India," said a newsreader on NDTV in Delhi.

"You can see pictures of our Delhi studios, where the windows rattled and everything shook for a very long time, for a minute perhaps or longer," she said as footage showed studio ceiling camera lights shaking.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, initially measured at 7.7 but upgraded to 7.9, struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara. It was only 2 km deep.

"We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home and in Nepal," tweeted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He convened a high-level meeting with ministers and top officials to assess the situation. There were no preliminary reports of damage anywhere in India, Home Minister Rajnath Singh told the Press Trust of India.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)

  • M7.8 - 34km ESE of Lamjung, Nepal


  1. 2015-04-25 06:11:26 (UTC)
  2. 2015-04-25 09:11:26 (UTC+03:00) 

Nearby Cities

  1. 34km (21mi) ESE of Lamjung, Nepal
  2. 58km (36mi) NNE of Bharatpur, Nepal
  3. 73km (45mi) E of Pokhara, Nepal
  4. 76km (47mi) NW of Kirtipur, Nepal
  5. 77km (48mi) NW of Kathmandu, Nepal
14 aftershocks jolt Nepal after massive earthquake...

1 comment:

  1. Nepal earthquake: Rescue effort intensifies...

    Rescue efforts in Nepal are intensifying after more than 1,800 people were killed in the country's worst earthquake in more than 80 years.

    Many countries and international charities have offered aid to Nepal to deal with the disaster.

    Seventeen people have killed on Mount Everest by avalanches - the mountain's worst-ever disaster.

    Officials fear that the death toll could rise as the desperate search for survivors continues.

    The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area of central Nepal between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara on Saturday morning.

    The latest home ministry figures say 1,805 people were killed and 4,718 people were injured.

    There were also victims in India, Bangladesh, in the Chinese region of Tibet and on Mount Everest, where avalanches were triggered.

    Little information has emerged from the epicentre, where extensive damage has been reported, and there are fears the death toll could rise yet further.

    It is the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since one in 1934 which killed some 8,500 people............


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