Nepal quake toll reaches 876
The death toll from Nepal’s massive earthquake has increased to nearly 880 as the rescue operations continue in the stricken areas.
“The toll from the earthquake has jumped to 876, including 524 from the Kathmandu valley,” said police spokesman, Kamal Singh Bam.
“Rescue efforts are still underway. We fear that the toll might rise as we dig through the rubble,” he said, adding, “Deaths have been reported from all regions except the far west. All our security personnel have been deployed to rescue and assist those in need.”
Local media also reported that Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu has been shut down following the earthquake.
According to reports, dozens of people have been also taken to the main hospital in central Kathmandu with injuries.
Meanwhile, Indian officials said that the quake in neighboring Nepal also left at least 20 people killed and more than 70 others wounded in India.
Vyasji, the head of the disaster management department in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, stated that at least 14 people lost their lives and 35 people were wounded in seven districts of the state near the Nepalese border.
Six people were also reported dead and thirty others injured in India’s Uttar Pradesh State, Yogeshwar Misra, a local official announced.
Avalanche hits Everest, climbers caught
Later reports suggested that hundreds of mountaineers on their way to ascend to the peak of mount Everest were caught in the mountains.
The quake triggered a “huge avalanche,” at Mount Everest base camp, killing at least 10 people on Saturday, including foreign climbers, a Nepalese official said.
“We don’t have the details yet, but 10 have been reported dead so far, including foreign climbers,” said Gyanendra Kumar Shrestha from Nepal’s tourism department.
“A Massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone,” a climber, identified as Daniel Mazur, said in a post he sent on Twitter.
Reports say at least 700 people are in Solukhumbhu district that includes Everest, with around 300 believed to be at the camps.
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 Kathmandu. The 7.9 quake is the strongest to hit the country in more than 80 years.