Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Over 1,000 dead, history razed, Everest shaken

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Volunteers carry the body of a victim on a stretcher, recovered from the debris of a building that collapsed after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, yesterday.


Tens of thousands of people spent last night in the open under a chilly and thundery sky after a powerful earthquake shook Nepal, killing more than 1,180 people.

An avalanche triggered by the earthquake swept across Nepal's Mount Everest region, killing at least 10 climbers and guides, slamming into a section of the mountain.

World leaders and global charities offered condolences and emergency aid to Nepal while grappling to understand the scope of the disaster.

With Internet and cellular phone communications spotty, and many roads closed due to damage, the outside world does not yet have a clear picture of what is most needed following the earthquake.

But it is clear that help is needed - and fast.

"We are treating it as a big emergency," said Ben Pickering, Save the Children's humanitarian adviser in Britain. "We know the damage is extensive and that access into rural areas will be very, very difficult for everybody."

Some charities were assembling disaster teams late yesterday - based on the assumption that sanitation, shelter and medical help are urgently required - but the most convenient pathway into Nepal is not available because the international airport in Kathmandu has been shut down by the quake.

The European Union is considering "some budget support" to Nepal, according to a joint statement yesterday by the EU's foreign policy chief, development chief and humanitarian chief. It did not provide details or amounts.

"The full extent of the casualties and damage is still unknown but reports indicate they will likely be high, both in terms of loss of life, injuries and damage to cultural heritage," said the EU executives in a statement.