150 killed as massive earthquake rattles Nepal

KATHMANDU: A massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck east of Pokhara in Nepal on Saturday, causing widespread damage to buildings in the capital Kathmandu and killing 150 people in the country. People from Delhi-NCR, Ranchi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Patna, Jaipur and Bhopal, among other places, felt the tremor.
“Seventy-one people have died in Kathmandu, 41 in nearby Bhaktapur and there are reports that many more could be dead in other parts,” said home ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal.
Nepal’s information minister Minendra Rijal told that there were reports of damage in and around Kathmandu but no immediate word on casualties. He said rescue teams were on the scene.
Footage from Nepal’s Kantipur TV channel showed Nepalese soldiers digging through the rubble of collapsed buildings with their hands and people rushing the injured to hospital. Kathmandu’s international airport was damaged and some flights were diverted to Indian cities.
The nine-storey Dharahara Tower, a popular attraction in Kathmandu, collapsed and several people were believed to buried in its rubble. Several old temples also collapsed. Nepal’s national radio warned people to stay outdoors because more aftershocks were expected.