7.9 Nepal earthquake kills over 1300 some in Everest avalanche, Worst in 81 years, Toppled 19th century tower in capital Kathmandu

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7.9 Nepal earthquake kills over 1300 some in Everest avalanche, Worst in 81 years, Toppled 19th century tower in capital Kathmandu

 

 

From Reuters April 25, 2015.

“A powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people, touching off a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest and toppling a 19th-century tower in the capital Kathmandu.

There were reports of devastation in outlying, isolated mountainous areas after the midday quake of magnitude 7.9, Nepal’s worst in 81 years, centered 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara.

As fears grew of a humanitarian disaster in the impoverished Himalayan nation of 28 million, an overwhelmed government appealed for foreign help. India was first to respond by sending in military aircraft with medical equipment and relief teams.

A police spokesman said the death toll in Nepal alone had reached 1,341, about half of them in the Kathmandu Valley. A further 36 fatalities were reported in northern India, 12 in Chinese Tibet and four in Bangladesh.”

“Among the Kathmandu landmarks destroyed by the quake was the 60-metre-high (100-foot) Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal, with a viewing balcony that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years.

A jagged stump just 10 meters high was all that was left of the lighthouse-like structure. As bodies were pulled out of the ruins, a policeman said up to 200 people had been trapped inside.

At the main hospital in Kathmandu, volunteers formed human chains to clear the way for ambulances to bring in the injured.

Across the city, rescuers scrabbled through the rubble of destroyed buildings, among them ancient, wooden Hindu temples.

“I can see three bodies of monks trapped in the debris of a collapsed building near a monastery,” said Pant, the tourist. “We are trying to pull the bodies out and look for anyone who is trapped.”

EVEREST AVALANCHE

The Everest avalanches, first reported by climbers, raised fears for those on the world’s loftiest peak a year after a massive snowslide killed 16 Nepali guides just above base camp.”

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