Authorities in Nepal say at least 1,130 people are dead following a powerful earthquake not far from the capital Kathmandu, where homes and ancient temples collapsed amid the intense temblor and strong aftershocks.
Dozens of people in three neighboring countries were also killed. At least eight were reported dead on Mount Everest, and perhaps dozens more trapped by a quake-triggered avalanche that hit the world’s tallest peak at the height of the climbing season.
The death toll was likely to continue to rise — perhaps dramatically — as more information comes in from remote and isolated regions affected by the magnitude 7.8 quake. The Associated Press says that the earthquake “shook several cities across northern India, and was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan, Lhasa in Tibet, and in Dhaka, Bangladesh.” Kathmandu’s international airport was shut down following the temblor, the news agency says.
“We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now,” Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal was quoted by the BBC as saying.
It is the worst quake to hit the South Asian nation since 1934, when a massive one all but destroyed Kathmandu.
In today’s temblor, a Nepali police spokesman says 1,130 people are confirmed dead in that country. At least 38 others were confirmed dead in neighboring India, 12 in the Tibet region of China and two in Bangladesh, according to the AP.
In Kathmandu, people described panic and ruin amid collapsed buildings. The Associated Press quotes Pushpa Das, a laborer, as saying he ran from his house when the first quake struck but could not escape a collapsing wall that injured his arm.