Nepal Quake Kills Over 1000

Nepal Quake Kills Over 1000
Nepal Quake Kills Over 1000

Over 1,000 people are known to have died in a powerful earthquake in Nepal, with many more feared trapped under rubble. The quake measured 7.8 and struck an area between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said.

The quake, which struck at 11:41 local time, occurred at a depth of 14.9km, which is considered shallow and potentially more damaging than a quake centered deeper under the earth’s crust. It was reported by people in the area has having lasted a very long time, BBC reported.

A national police spokesman told the BBC that more than 1,000 people had died in the quake, and that more than 1,700 had been injured. At least 540 people were killed in Kathmandu, he added.

Tremors were felt across the region, as far afield as Pakistan, Bangladesh and neighboring India as well as Tibet and on Mount Everest. A Nepali minister said there had been “massive damage” at the epicenter. The government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas.

A number of historic buildings have been destroyed. Among those wrecked was the landmark Dharahara tower, with many feared trapped in its ruins. These include a nine-storey tower, temples and some parts of what was once a royal palace, all listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Eyewitnesses say several others now have cracks and could collapse.

“We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now,” said Information Minister Minendra Rijal.

After the earthquake struck, frightened residents came out into the streets. Mobile phones and other communications have been disrupted. Injured people have been brought to the main hospital. Rescuers are digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital trying to reach survivors.

There are reports of damage to Kathmandu airport which could hamper relief operations. The quake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least eight people, and another five in Tibet, officials and reports say.

Aftershocks continued to ripple through the region hours after. At least 35 people have been killed in India, according to officials, with deaths also reported in Bangladesh.

It is the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since one in 1934 which all but destroyed Kathmandu.

Some of the most fatal earthquakes in the recent memory include the devastating 9.1 magnitude earthquake and tsunami of Indonesia in 2004 that killed more than 230,000 people, along with a 9.0 quake in Japan 2011 that triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,000 people.