• Thousands of people are reported dead, many more still trapped under the rubble.
• The quake, measured 7.8 in magnitude, struck at around noon local time.
• Epicenter was an area between the Nepalese capital Kathmandu close to the city of Pokhara.
• Violent tremors triggered a massive avalanche in Mount Everest. While packed with climbers and local villagers
Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said:
“Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off, making charging mobile phones difficult. The water is also cut off. The number of people killed is continuing to rise. Many of the old houses have been destroyed and at least one large apartment block has come down in Kathmandu. Given the closeness to the epicenter, Pokhara must also be badly affected. Oxfam is preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food. People are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks.”
(Via New York Times) Officials in Nepal put the preliminary death toll at 1,157, nearly all of them in the valley around Katmandu. But it was an event that touched a vast swath of the subcontinent. The quake set off avalanches around Mount Everest, where several hikers were reported to have died. At least 34 deaths occurred in northern India. Buildings swayed in Tibet and Bangladesh.
The earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.8, struck shortly before noon, and residents of Katmandu ran into the streets and other open spaces as buildings fell, throwing up clouds of dust. Wide cracks opened on paved streets and in the walls of city buildings. Motorcycles tipped over on their sides and slid off the edge of a highway. (read more)