An earthquake with an epicenter about 50 miles outside of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu killed at least 1,400 people Saturday, leveling city structures, and leaving hundreds more trapped in collapsed buildings.
Representatives for Nepal’s Home Ministry told the New York Times they expect the death toll to rise, with a majority of causalities concentrated in the valleys surrounding Kathmandu. The area has experienced at least 15 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or stronger, the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed to CNN. Two climbers were also report killed in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake on Mount Everest and at least 35 people have died in India, the BBC reports.
The chaotic scene in Kathmandu Saturday from the Times:
Residents of Katmandu ran into the streets and other open spaces as buildings fell, throwing up clouds of dust, and wide cracks opened on paved streets and the walls of city buildings. Overflowing hospitals were treating injured patients on the street, and Nepal’s leading television station, its studios crushed, was broadcasting from the pavement outside.
Hundreds are also feared to be trapped in the rubble of the historic, nine-story Dharahara Tower in Kathmandu, which collapsed in the quake. Kanak Mani Dixit, a Nepali political commentator, told the Times that more than 200 people had purchased tickets to climb the tower Saturday, and “several dozens” were likely standing on its platform when the earthquake hit.
I counted at least 7 major temples in Patan razed, including this one recently restored. pic.twitter.com/2ftOKf2gxkApril 25, 2015
Rescuers: 12 bodies recovered from under the Hari Shanker and Uma Maheswar Temple in Patan. pic.twitter.com/nMUGE2LrtYApril 25, 2015
I took these photos an hour apart. Was wandering when quake demolished temples before my eyes. Heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/RYtIZI4725April 25, 2015