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Powerful Earthquake Kills Hundreds In Nepal

  • RFE/RL

People sit with their belongings outside a damaged temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square after a major earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 25.

People sit with their belongings outside a damaged temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square after a major earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 25.

Authorities in Nepal say the death toll from the April 25 earthquake has climbed above 1,900.

Officials said that at least 4,700 people were injured in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

Seventeen bodies were recovered on April 26 at the base camp on Mount Everest where hundreds of climbers are stranded.

Tens of thousands of people spent the night in the open, too afraid to return to homes damaged in the quake.

Strong aftershocks continued to jolt the region as the rescue operation got into full swing early on April 26, with workers sending out tents and relief supplies in trucks and helicopters.

People used their hands in many places to dig for survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

The quake was strong enough to be felt all across the northern part of neighboring India, Bangladesh, China's region of Tibet and Pakistan, where a total of 60 people died.

The earthquake hit a heavily populated area of Nepal, including the capital, Kathmandu, and its impact spread far beyond the Kathmandu Valley.

Several buildings in the center of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, were destroyed, including centuries-old temples and towers.

More than 1,000 climbers were on Everest at the start of their season when disaster struck.

The United Nations said hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley were overcrowded, running out of room for storing dead bodies and running out of emergency supplies.

Aid groups said they were readying staff to go to Nepal with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food.

The United States, Britain and Pakistan were among countries providing search-and-rescue experts.

The earthquake, centered 8 kilometers east of the city, Pokhara, was all the more destructive for being shallow.

Rescue operations had still not begun in towns in some remote areas.

Nepal, located between India and China, has had its share of natural disasters. Its worst earthquake in 1934 killed more than 8,500 people.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa
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