Catastrophic Earthquake Hits Nepal, At Least A Thousand Dead

Catastrophic Earthquake Hits Nepal, At Least A Thousand Dead

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal just before noon local time today, killing a minimum of a thousand people and leveling historic buildings. The death toll is expected to rise, and aftershocks have been measured as high as 6.6 on the Richter scale.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which originated outside the capital Kathmandu, was the worst tremor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years. It was so powerful that it was felt all across the northern part of neighboring India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan where a total of 50 people died. The death toll in Nepal was 1,130, but it is almost certain to rise, said deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam.

Volunteers help remove debris of a building that collapsed at Durbar Square, after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha)
Volunteers help remove debris of a building that collapsed at Durbar Square, after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha)
Ten hikers on Mount Everest have been reported dead, according to Nepalese officials.

The earthquake set off avalanches on Mount Everest, where several hundred trekkers were attempting an ascent, according to climbers there. Via Twitter, Alex Gavan, a hiker at base camp, described a “huge earthquake then huge avalanche,” and “running for life from my tent.” Nima Namgyal Sherpa, a tour guide at base camp, described one avalanche as “huge” and said it had caused many injuries.

“Many camps have been destroyed by the shake and wind from the avalanche,” Mr. Sherpa, the base camp manager for Asian Trekking, wrote in a post on Facebook. “All the doctors here are doing our best to treat and save lives.”


The devastation is immense within Kathmandu, where many are trapped or missing beneath the rubble of centuries-old and historic temples and buildings.

A collapsed building in Kathmandu in the aftermath of the earthquake. (Zhou Shengping/Xinhua via AP)
A collapsed building in Kathmandu in the aftermath of the earthquake. (Zhou Shengping/Xinhua via AP)

The power of the tremors brought down several buildings in the center of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, including centuries-old temples and towers.

Among them was the nine-story Dharahara Tower, one of Kathmandu’s landmarks built by Nepal’s royal rulers as a watchtower in the 1800s and a UNESCO-recognized historical monument. It was reduced to rubble and there were reports of people trapped underneath.

Hundreds of people buy tickets on weekends to go up to the viewing platform on the eighth story, but it was not clear how many were up there when the tower collapsed. Video footage showed people digging through the rubble of the tower, looking for survivors.

According to the New York Times, both China and India have pledged to help Nepal. Both countries, of course, would love to exert more control over Nepal and the surrounding area.

Victory Girls will continue to monitor the news from Nepal and update as reports come in.

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