Officials report that more than 700 people are reported to have died in a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, and many are still feared to be trapped under rubble.
According to the BBC, the magnitude of the quake measured between 7.8 and 7.9 on the open-ended Richter Scale. It struck in an area between national capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara, the US Geological Survey said. Tremors were felt across the region, with further loss of life in India and on Mount Everest.
Advertisement"There has been "massive damage" at the epicentre. We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now," said Nepal's Information Minister Minendra Rijal.
A national police spokesman was quoted by the BBC, as saying that 711 people had died in the quake, 467 of them in Kathmandu alone.
The epicentre was 80 kilometres east of Pokhara.
Saturday's quake is the worst to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in 81 years. It has also caused damage in neighbouring Indian states and Bangladesh. The quake was shallow, intensifying the amount of energy released over a relatively small area.
At the main hospital in Kathmandu, people with broken limbs and arms were being rushed in for treatment. Television news footage showed people being treated on the streets outside hospitals and bodies lying in rows, covered in blankets.
A 1934 quake of magnitude 8.3 in Nepal killed over 8,500 people.
Further details are awaited.
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