Home / Top Story / 7.9-magnitude earthquake rips Nepal, kills more than 1,400

7.9-magnitude earthquake rips Nepal, kills more than 1,400

NARENDRA SHRESTHA/EPA

People try to free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building after an earthquake hit Nepal, in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 25, 2015.

An injured man gets treated outside the Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.Niranjan Shrestha/AP

An injured man gets treated outside the Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Volunteers help with rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015.Niranjan Shrestha/AP

Volunteers help with rescue work at the site of a building that collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015.

The epicenter of the earthquake in Nepal, which has caused extensive damage near the capital Kathmandu.earthquake.usgs.gov

The epicenter of the earthquake in Nepal, which has caused extensive damage near the capital Kathmandu.

Nepalese health workers carry injured people into an open area following an 7.9 earthquake, at Lalitpur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on April 25, 2015.PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images

Nepalese health workers carry injured people into an open area following an 7.9 earthquake, at Lalitpur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on April 25, 2015.

NO SALES, PHOTO RELEASED BY CHINA'S XINHUA NEWS AGENCYZhou Shengping/Xinhua via AP

One of many collapsed buildings in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.

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A 7.9-magnitude earthquake in Nepal killed more than 1, 400 people, sparking panic in the streets and triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest that buried much of the towering peak’s base camp and killed U.S. Google executive Dan Fredinburg, officials said.

The latest figure includes at least 634 on the densely populated Kathmandu Valley and at least 300 in the capital. Fatalities in China, Bangladesh and Tibet were also reported.

Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years demolished scores of buildings, cut electricity and phones and toppled the historic Dharahara Tower. Eighteen climbers were reported dead on Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain and about 1,000 hikers were estimated to be at the site. An avalanche deluged the base camp and two tents were overflowing with casualties, officials said.

Dozens of people were reported dead and dozens more injured.Bibek Bhandari via Twitter

Dozens of people were reported dead and dozens more injured.

Fredinburg sustained a severe head injury and died at the scene, according to an Instagram post by his sister, Megan. “I regret to inform all who loved him that during the avalanche on Everest early this morning, our Dan suffered from a major head injury and didn’t make it.

Danish climber Carsten Lillelund Pederson said ice and snow collapsed, injuring fellow climber Jelle Veyt of Belgium.

“He was blown away by the avalanche and broke both legs. For the camps closer to where the avalanche hit, our Sherpas believe that a lot of people may have been buried in their tents,” he wrote on Facebook in English.

The death toll is expected to rise substantially as much of the country is cut off from communications and buried in rubble.

“Almost the entire country has been hit,” said Krishna Prasad Dhakal, deputy chief of mission at Nepal’s Embassy in New Delhi.

Vim Tamang, a resident of Manglung village near the epicenter of the earthquake, said half of the villagers are missing or dead.

The earthquake struck the heavily populated Kathmandu Valley, inlcuding the capital of Kathmandu where it killed 181 people in the city. The quake then rippled outward.

The earthquake struck the heavily populated Kathmandu Valley, inlcuding the capital of Kathmandu where it killed 181 people in the city. The quake then rippled outward.

“Our village has been almost wiped out. Most of the houses are either buried by landslide or damaged by shaking,” Tamang said. “We don’t know what to do. We are feeling helpless.”

A 6.6.-magnitude aftershock hit Nepal about an hour after the initial earthquake, and smaller aftershocks continued every few minutes as emergency responders rushed to save citizens.

“It was very scary. The earth was moving … I am waiting for treatment but the (hospital) staff is overwhelmed,” said Pushpa Das, a laborer in Kathmandu, who spoke while clutching his left arm.

The injured were spread out across hospital parking lots as treatment centers overflowed with the wounded.

“We are now collecting bodies and rushing the injured to the ambulance. We are being forced to pile several bodies one above the other to fit them in,” said tourist Devyani Pant.

The cosmic quake also injured dozens more and destroyed several centuries-old temples and towers, including the Dharahara Tower, one of the Nepal’s most famous landmarks, which dates back to the 1800s. People were trapped underneath it after it crumbled.

The quake, which hit just before noon, was initially reported at 7.5 magnitude.

Nepal’s worst recorded earthquake, in 1934, measured at 8.0, killed 8,500 people and destroyed all of the country’s major cities. 

Saturday’s earthquake was 16 times more powerful than Haiti’s infamous 7.0 quake in 2010.

It was even more destructive because it was shallow, making it reverberate closer to the surface.

Nepal’s buildings were not designed to be quake-proof, making them more likely to crumble in natural disasters.

Officials fear the destruction will further strain the resources of the poor country of nearly 28 million.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ordered an immediate dispatch of medical teams and relief aid.

With News Wire Services

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Nation / World – NY Daily News

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