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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Nepal quake kills more than 1,100; rips cities, crumbles history

Tens of thousands of people prepared to spend the night in the open under a chilly and thundery sky after a powerful earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 1,180 people, collapsing modern houses and centuries-old temples, and triggering a landslide on the slopes of Mount Everest. Officials said the death toll will rise as more reports from far-flung areas come in.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which originated outside the capital Kathmandu, was the worst tremor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years. It was so powerful that it was felt all across the northern part of neighbouring India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan where a total of 50 people died. The death toll in Nepal was 1,130, but it is almost certain to rise, said deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam.

More than two dozen aftershocks jolted the area after the first quake, which struck just before noon. At the time, Shrish Vaidya, who runs an advertising agency, was in his two-story house outside the capital Kathmandu with his arents.

"It is hard to describe. The house was shaking like crazy. We ran out and it seemed like the road was heaving up and down," Vaidya, 46, told The Associated Press. "I don't remember anything like this before. Even my parents can't remember anything this bad."

All across the country, residents ran out of homes and buildings in panic. Walls tumbled, trees swayed, power lines came crashing down and large cracks opened up on streets and walls. And clouds of dust began to swirl all around.

Once the first shaking stopped, Vaidya thought the family could return indoors by the evening. But the jolts kept coming, and they felt safer outdoors.

"It's cold and windy so we are all sitting in the car listening to the news on FM radio," he said. "The experts are saying it's still not safe to go back inside. No one can predict how big the next aftershock will be."

So the family and their three domestic helpers ate dinner in the compound with the headlights of their car providing the light.Vaidya's wife and 10-year-old son are on holiday in the U.S. for which he was grateful.

In his largely affluent neighbourhood of low-rise, sturdy homes in suburban Kathmandu the damage was relatively low. In other parts of the city where the buildings are older and poorly built people have not been as lucky..........http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/nepal-quake-kills-more-than-1-100-rips-cities-crumbles-history-1.2344467
 
   25/4/15

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