Catastrophic 7.9 Earthquake Strikes Nepal, 400 Plus Deaths, Worst Quake in 80 Years

A powerful earthquake struck Nepal Saturday, leaving at least 688 people dead, as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches in the Himalayas. It is the worst temblor to hit the nation in more than 80 years. The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8 struck the country before noon and was severely felt in the capital as well as the densely-populated Kathmandu Valley. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller tremors continued to ripple through the region for hours. The Home Ministry initially said in a statement that 71 people were killed in Nepal, but did not give any more details. One Chinese citizen was killed on the border, two Bangladesh and six in Tibet in the quake. Dozens of others were being brought to the main hospital in Kathmandu. One laborer, Pashpa Das, ran from the house when the first quake struck but could not escape because a wall collapsed, injuring his arm. “It was very scary. The earth was moving … I am waiting for treatment but the (hospital) staff is overwhelmed,” he said, gingerly holding his right arm with his left hand. As he spoke dozens of more people showed up with injuries, mostly from falling bricks. FULL REPORT