Kathmandu/New Delhi: More than 2,200 people have died and over 4,500 people have been injured in a massive earthquake of 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale which hit large parts of Nepal on Saturday, news agency Reuters said quoting the police. The Himalayan nation was hit by an aftershock of 6.7 magnitude today.
Saturday's earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years, also triggered a deadly avalanche that buried a part of the base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest. 19 bodies have been recovered so far; 61 people have been injured. Just under the base camp, five others were killed.
More than 60 people have been killed in India where fresh tremors were felt today across large swathes in the northern region including Delhi.
India is aiding in rescue and relief operations in Nepal following a high-level meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday. Over 600 Indians have been rescued since Saturday evening. (Here's how you can help)
The Nepal government has urged nations to send aid and braced for the toll to rise after rescuers overnight were hampered by strong aftershocks, blocked highways and a lack of equipment. People used their hands in many places to dig for survivors.
Authorities also scrambled to provide shelter in the capital, Kathmandu, for thousands of people who spent the night outside in freezing temperatures and patchy rain, too afraid to return to their damaged homes.
Hospitals across the nation of 28 million people struggled to cope with the disaster. Kathmandu's Bir Hospital had received 300 to 350 patients with serious injuries through Saturday, and most of them died, said paramedic Dinesh Chaudhary. He said the hospital was procuring medicines from shops outside.
At daybreak on Sunday, people milled about in parks and streets in Kathmandu strewn with rubble. (See Pics) The earthquake struck at midday on Saturday at a busy time of year for the tourism-reliant country's trekking and climbing season, with an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in the country.
Indian Embassy in Nepal has set up helpline: +977-9851107021, +977-9851135141
The External Affairs Ministry too has opened a 24-hour control room: +91-11-23012113, +91-11-23014104, +91-11-23017905