A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday 25 April, destroying homes and ancient temples in capital Kathmandu and reportedly triggering at least one avalanche on Mount Everest.
Everest base camp huge earthquaqe then huge avalanche from pumori.Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain.
— Alex Gavan (@AlexGAVAN) April 25, 2015
“A massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone,” mountaineer Daniel Mazur tweeted.
There were numerous reports of avalanches and injuries on Everest. And while there has been no immediate official word on casualties, locals reported extensive damage.
Shristi Mainali, who lives in Kathmandu, described the terrifying moment the earthquake hit just before noon local time (2:15 a.m. ET).
“It was a sound like thunder,” the 21-year-old nursing student told NBC News. “It lasted for more than a minute… it was really shaking shaking shaking.”
Residents in her neighborhood in Kathmandu had fled their homes after the initial earthquake and a series of strong aftershocks, Mainali said.
Kathmandu Valley devastated by huge quake. Lots of buildings down. Pall of dust over city.
— Kunda Dixit (@kundadixit) April 25, 2015
“They are terrified that the aftershocks may come again,” she said. “We are staying away from big walls, sitting in the middle of the road.”
Many buildings were destroyed in the center Old Kathmandu, including ancient temples and towers, resident Prachanda Sual told The Associated Press. The old part of Kathmandu city is a densely packed warren of lanes with poorly built homes crowded closely together.
The United States Geological Service revised up the size of the earthquake, which was felt in neighboring India and Pakistan, from an initial 7.5-magnitude estimate.