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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Death toll rises to 3,800 after Nepal quake> BlogWatch

Nepal Update

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KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The death toll of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal on Saturday, has risen to more than 3,800 people and injured about 6,500, as aftershocks still affect the area.

About 56 people have died in India and 17 in Tibet. A 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit on Sunday about 40 miles east of Kathmandu, the nation's capital. Aid has begun arriving in the country.

Saturday's quake, centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu, is the most powerful to strike the region in decades, leveling centuries-old structures, toppling buildings and cutting open roads.

Large tent cities have risen in Kathmandu for people who have been displaced or are afraid to return home due to strong aftershocks. Thousands of people have spent their nights since the quake outside.

Nepal officials said there was "massive damage" at the epicenter. The Kathmandu valley is densely populated, with many residents living in poverty in poorly constructed homes. Aftershocks, ranging from 4.5 to 6.6 magnitude, have been felt as far away as Pakistan, Bangladesh and India.

Several landmarks and historic buildings, including Dharahara or Bhimsen Tower, were reduced to rubble in Kathmandu. As the quake struck, people started panicking and running down streets.

Among the reported dead is Dan Fredinburg, an adventurer and Google executive, who was killed on Mount Everest after the earthquake struck.

Climbers on Mount Everest ran for their lives as the quake shook the ground and triggered avalanches. About 17 climbers have been killed, making it the worst disaster at the mountain. About 200 climbers were rescued.

"It felt like a wind in the back but more powerful," Belgian climber Jelle Veyt said. I was "just surrounded by snow then. I couldn't see my own hands."

The United States is sending a disaster-response team and an initial $1 million in aid.

The death toll may continue to rise as remote areas are difficult to access. Roads in mountains have been destroyed or blocked by debris or landslides.

Previously, the most damaging earthquake in Nepal occurred in 1934. About 8,500 people died.

Amy R. Connolly contributed to this report.Andrew V. Pestano

- 3,617 killed
- 6,515 injured
- Totals "set to rise"
- Huge damage

 

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