Nepal earthquake: Death toll passes 1,000

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media captionMore than 1,000 people have been killed according to police, as Caroline Hawley reports

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Nepal's deadliest earthquake for more than 80 years, police say.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck an area of central Nepal between the capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara.

There were also victims in India, Bangladesh, Tibet and on Mount Everest, where avalanches were triggered.

The government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas, and help has been offered by countries around the world.

Little information has emerged from the epicentre, where extensive damage has been reported, and there are fears the death toll could rise yet further.

The Nepalese information minister has told the BBC that 1,500 people had been killed in the disaster, but that the true casualty figure would probably be much higher.

Thousands of people are spending the night outside their houses, following a series of aftershocks.

media captionMinister Minendra Rijai says there has been "massive damage" around the epicentre of the quake

Offers of aid:

  • The US is sending a disaster response team and has released an initial $1m (£0.7m) according to the US aid agency USAid
  • India has sent several aircraft, carrying medical supplies and a mobile hospital, as well as a 40-strong disaster response team, including rescuers with dogs
  • The UK is sending an eight-strong team of humanitarian experts
  • Pakistan is sending four C-130 aircraft carrying a 30-bed field hospital and army doctors and specialists; urban search-and-rescue teams equipped with radars and sniffer dogs; and food items, including 2,000 meals, 200 tents and 600 blankets
  • Norway has promised 30 million krone (£2.5m; $3.9m) in humanitarian assistance
  • Germany, Spain, France, Israel and the European Union are also pledging to send aid
image sourceEPA
image captionPeople sleep outside on a street in Kathmandu
image sourceAFP
image captionPeople clear rubble in Kathmandu's Durbar Square
image sourceAP
image captionHistoric landmarks were wrecked in the earthquake

Many more people are trapped under rubble. Local television pictures showed rescuers in Kathmandu desperately digging through the rubble with their bare hands in search of survivors. Many historic buildings in the capital were also destroyed.

image sourceALAMY/EPA
image captionKathmandu's landmark Dharahara tower before and after the earthquake

Eyewitness: Sandesh Kaji Shrestha, Kathmandu

Kathmandu has been very badly affected by the earthquake. Some areas are completely destroyed.

I am in the Thamel area and the Hotel Budget has been completely demolished with more than 50 guests inside.

I have been helping to pull people and bodies out of the rubble, along with my friend. We pulled a child out with its grandmother earlier. They did not survive.

I am most sad. It has been a very bad experience and a terrible and very difficult day.

There are not enough rescue teams here. The hospitals are out of control. We need help.

The quake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 10 people, and another five in Tibet, officials and reports say.

At least 40 people have been killed in India, Indian officials say, with one death also reported in Bangladesh.

It is the worst earthquake to strike Nepal since one in 1934 which killed some 8,500 people.

World's deadliest recent earthquakes

  • Iran, 2003: More than 26,000 people killed in 6.6 earthquake near the city of Bam
  • Indonesia, 2004: Devastating 9.1 earthquake and ensuing tsunami off the Sumatran province of Aceh kills more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries
  • Pakistani-administered Kashmir, 2005: 7.6 earthquake near Muzafferabad kills about 100,000 people
  • China, 2008: Nearly 90,000 killed in 7.9 earthquake in eastern Sichuan province
  • Haiti, 2010: More than 220,000 people killed in 7.0 magnitude earthquake

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