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Saturday, 25 April 2015
Earthquake slams Nepal; devastating loss of people, history
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.9 shook Nepal on Saturday near its capital, Katmandu.
People in the capital described scenes of panic and collapsed buildings, and the United States Geological Survey predicted very severe damage to villages near the quake’s epicenter, about 50 miles from Katmandu.
A spokesperson for Nepal’s home ministry said the preliminary death toll stood at 211, and that thousands of people had been injured.
There are fears the death toll could rise yet further
Rescue efforts in Nepal are intensifying after more than 1,800 people were killed in the country's worst earthquake in more than 80 years.
Many countries and international charities have offered aid to Nepal to deal with the disaster.
Seventeen people have killed on Mount Everest by avalanches - the mountain's worst-ever disaster.
Officials fear that the death toll could rise as the desperate search for survivors continues.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area of central Nepal between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara on Saturday morning.
The latest home ministry figures say 1,805 people were killed and 4,718 people were injured.
There were also victims in India, Bangladesh, in the Chinese region of Tibet and on Mount Everest, where avalanches were triggered.
Little information has emerged from the epicentre, where extensive damage has been reported, and there are fears the death toll could rise yet further.
It is the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since one in 1934 which killed some 8,500 people.
'Moment of crisis'
"We have launched a massive rescue and rehabilitation action plan and lots needs to be done," Information and Broadcasting Minister Minendra Rijal told Indian television.
Historic landmarks were wrecked in the earthquake
Kathmandu's landmark Dharahara tower before and after the earthquake