Nepal Earthquake Kills More Than 1,000, Causes Avalanche On Mount Everest
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal Saturday, killing more that 1,000 people and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest.
The earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years, had a death toll of 1,130 as of Saturday evening, though it’s expected to rise, possibly tripling. More than 600 fatalities were reported in Kathmandu Valley, while another 300 were reported in Nepal’s capital. China, Bangladesh and Tibet have seen fatalities as a result of the earthquake as well.
“Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off, making charging mobile phones difficult. The water is also cut off. The number of people killed is continuing to rise,” Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said. “Many of the old houses have been destroyed and at least one large apartment block has come down in Kathmandu. Given the closeness to the epicenter, Pokhara must also be badly affected. Oxfam is preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food. People are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks.”
Following the initial earthquake, Nepal experienced a 6.6.-magnitude aftershock about an hour later. While emergency responders made efforts to rescue people from the rubble, the country was shaken by several smaller aftershocks.
The devastating earthquake also caused the avalanche on Mount Everest that has resulted in the deaths of at least 18 climbers. About 1,000 people were thought to have been at the base camp that was buried by the avalanche. Carsten Lillelund Pederson, a climber from Denmark saw fellow climber Jelle Veyt get both of his legs broken.
“He was blown away by the avalanche and broke both legs,” Lillelund wrote on Facebook. “For the camps closer to where the avalanche hit, our Sherpas believe that a lot of people may have been buried in their tents.”