Deadly Earthquake Kills 400 in Nepal

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Hundreds of people have been killed after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck 80km east of Pokhara in Nepal about half way between the town and the capital Kathmandu.

Police said that over 400 people were killed in the powerful quake that shook the region on Saturday.

Photos posted on Twitter showed buildings left in rubble, large cracks along roads and worried residents on the streets.

The earthquake destroyed many historical landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage temples at Basantapur Durbar Square and the Dharara tower, both in central Kathmandu.

It has been reported that around 250 people may have been in the Dharara tower when it collapsed. At least 50 people are believed to be trapped under an ancient tower in Kathmandu which collapsed in the quake.

Emergency workers and army and police personnel, with the help of bystanders, continued to work tirelessly early Saturday afternoon to clear the rubble from these sites and to rescue any survivors from under the debris, although most of the bodies that are being pulled out are lifeless.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are staying outdoors and have found refuge in Kathmandu’s open spaces, in fear that subsequent aftershocks may cause further damage.

The epicentre was 80km northwest of Kathmandu. The Kathmandu Valley is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million. with poorly enforced building regulations.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 06:11 GMT. It initially reported a magnitude 7.7 before revising the calculation to 7.5 and later upgraded to 7.9.

The USGS initally reported the epicentre to be 11km deep but later revised it to 2km.

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