As rescue efforts continued more than a day after a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, the death toll crossed 2,200 and was expected to rise, according to reports. Meanwhile, another aftershock hit the region Sunday afternoon, triggering panic in the devastated region, and fresh avalanches on Mount Everest.
Sunday afternoon’s 6.7-magnitude aftershock -- the most powerful of several aftershocks since Saturday morning’s quake -- caused further avalanches on Mount Everest, where rescue operations are underway to airlift stranded climbers. According to earlier reports, at least 17 climbers’ bodies have so far been recovered from the slopes of the world’s tallest mountain, and about 61 climbers are reported hurt.
By Sunday afternoon, the overall death toll had climbed to over 2,200, Reuters reported. According to a report from the Associated Press, citing officials, only 60 of the fatalities were outside Nepal, and at least 721 had died in Kathmandu alone. More than 5,000 people were injured across the country, according to the report.
Several nations, including India, China, Pakistan, Singapore and the United States, have dispatched units and equipment to help impoverished Nepal recover from the earthquake, which is reportedly the largest one to hit the country since 1934.
And while rescuers worked to dig people out of mounds of rubble, officials warned of further aftershocks, according to Reuters.
"There is no way one can forecast the intensity of aftershocks so people need to be alert for the next few days," said L.S. Rathore, chief of India’s meteorological department, according to Reuters.
The massive quake was reportedly felt across parts of northern India where dozens of people are reportedly dead, as well as in Bangladesh. Light tremors were also felt hundreds of miles from Kathmandu -- in parts of southern India, according to local reports.
On Mount Everest, which is looking at its worst-ever loss of climbers’ lives, the death toll is expected to rise, the AP reported. There were about 1,000 climbers and sherpas on Everest when the first avalanche struck Saturday, the report added.
"There is a lot of confusion on the mountain. The toll will rise," said Gelu Sherpa, who was among the first climbers to be rescued off the mountain, according to Reuters. "Tents have been blown away."
The death toll is expected to rise across the ravaged nation, according to reports. "We believe there are still people trapped inside," an army officer told Reuters.