AUDIO: Nepal earthquake kills atleast 449, triggers avalanches
April 25, 2015 04:52 pm
(UPFATE) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kathmandu says that so far there have been no reports of Sri Lankan nationals in Nepal being affected by the earthquake.
Hundreds of people have been killed after a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal causing extensive damage in the capital Kathmandu.
At least 449 have been confirmed dead across the country following the strongest quake to hit Nepal in 80 years, according to police.
In Kathmandu some 50 people are still feared trapped under the rubble of the city’s iconic nine-storey Dharahara tower, which was brought down in the quake.
Police have removed around a dozen bodies from the 19th Century UNESCO-recognised monument, also known as the Bhimsen Tower.
Tremors were also felt in neighbouring India, with 20 people, including a 15-year-old girl, reported to have been killed.
The quake also triggered a “huge avalanche” on Mount Everest, leaving at least eight climbers dead.
Mountaineer Alex Gavan tweeted from Mount Pumori: “Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche from pumori.
“Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain.”
Another climber, Daniel Mazur, said Everest base camp had been “severely damaged” and his team was trapped.
“Please pray for everyone,” he tweeted.
The quake struck 80km (50 miles) east of the central city of Pokhara, close to the capital, with a depth of just 11km. Shallower quakes often prove to be more destructive.
Little is yet known about the extent of damage to Pokhara, but in the densely-populated city of Kathmandu hospitals are struggling to cope.
Televised images from outside the city’s main hospital show the injured being forced to wait outside on the street for treatment.
A number of centuries-old temples have been destroyed and there are unconfirmed reports that the densely-populated city’s main airport has closed, according to Sky News’ India producer Neville Lazarus.
Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal has told India’s NDTV station that rescue teams are at the scene.
“It was a pretty massive earthquake here, the strongest I’ve ever felt in my life,” photojournalist Nayantara, who is in Pokhara, told Sky News.
“There is quite a lot of damage. The building I was in has quite a lot of cracks in it,” she said.
Another witness tweeted: “LOTS of shaking. Hid under table, then ran outside. Still feel like swaying. Cables/walls down.”
“Lots of panic, people wandering in the streets,” @jonk said, adding that people were gathering in the middle of an intersection to avoid falling debris.
Tremors could also be felt as far away as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tibet.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal.”
Source: Sky News