7.9-magnitude quake hits Nepal, at least two killed
A strong earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale has hit an area near Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, causing extensive damage to buildings, officials say.
Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal said the quake took place before noon local time (0615 GMT) on Saturday with its epicenter registered 80 kilometers (49 miles) northwest of the capital.
The quake, which measured at a depth of 11 kilometers (7 miles), toppled walls and caused buildings to collapse.
Rijal added that rescue teams were on the scene of the quake. There was no immediate estimate of the number of fatalities.
According to reports, two people, including a child, have been killed and dozens taken to the main hospital in central Kathmandu with injuries.
The tremor lasted for nearly a minute and the aftershocks were felt over the region, including India’s entire northern parts and in the capital of New Delhi as well as in Bangladesh.
The Kathmandu Valley, which includes the capital, is a densely populated region with nearly 2.5 million residents. Many of the buildings in the area are of poor quality.
The Valley lies on a major fault line. An 8.4-magnitude earthquake rocked the region in 1934, killing some 8,500 people and destroying more than 80,000 buildings, according to data by the United Nations.