Nepal began the slow recovery process Sunday from the country's worst earthquake in 80 years. Tent cities popped up and desperate relief efforts were underway as the death toll rose toward 2,500, and aftershocks complicated rescue missions.

Nearly 40 percent of the country was devastated during Saturday's 7.8-magnitude temblor, according to the United Nations Development Program.

2015-04-26T162923Z_1414566454_GF10000073664_RTRMADP_3_QUAKE-NEPAL A tourist makes his way through the debris of a temple after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, that killed more than 2,400 people and devastated Kathmandu Valley on Saturday. Photo: Reuters 2015-04-26T122814Z_1_LYNXMPEB3P080_RTROPTP_4_QUAKE-NEPAL People search for family members trapped inside collapsed houses a day after an earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Reuters nepal 5 A man runs down a street covered in debris after buildings collapsed on Saturday in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Omar Havana/Getty Images


"The aftershocks keep coming ... so people don't know what to expect," Sanjay Karki, Nepal country head for global aid agency Mercy Corps, told the Associated Press. "All the open spaces in Kathmandu are packed with people who are camping outdoors. When the aftershocks come you cannot imagine the fear. You can hear women and children crying."

nepal 6 Nepalese people stay outside in tents in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu on Sunday. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images nepal 7 People burn the bodies of earthquake victims at a mass cremation at Pashupatinath in Kathmandu on Sunday. Photo: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images

The earthquake wrecked 80 percent of the temples in Bhaktapur, the BBC reported, and Kathmandu landmarks like the nine-story Dharahara Tower collapsed, trapping locals and visitors inside. Durbar Square was decimated.

The quake also triggered an avalanche on nearby Mount Everest, killing at least 17 people and injuring 61 on the world's tallest mountain. "Everybody’s pretty much in rescue mode, but this is different from some independent climbing accident where people can be rescued and taken somewhere else," Alpine Ascents International director Gordon Janow told the Guardian. “I don’t know where ‘somewhere else’ is.”

nepal 8 A rescue helicopter prepared to land and airlift the injured from Everest Base Camp Sunday, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the location. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images 2015-04-26T062326Z_6600475_GF10000073082_RTRMADP_3_QUAKE-NEPAL People gather near the cracks on the road caused by an earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal, on Sunday. Photo: Reuters 2015-04-26T042208Z_1613872194_GF10000073002_RTRMADP_3_QUAKE-NEPAL A paramilitary policeman speaks to a woman after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

The Wall Street Journal reported local hospitals were already overstretched Sunday as they tried to treat the more than 6,000 injured. Food and water were scarce, and roads were cracked.

"We have launched a massive rescue and rehabilitation action plan and lots needs to be done," Nepalese Information and Broadcasting Minister Minendra Rijal said. "Our country is in a moment of crisis, and we will require tremendous support and aid."

2015-04-25T124019Z_76278880_GF10000072241_RTRMADP_3_QUAKE-NEPAL People gather near a collapsed house after a major earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters 2015-04-25T163016Z_1_LYNXMPEB3O0C8_RTROPTP_4_QUAKE-NEPAL People survey a site damaged by an earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Saturday. Photo: Reuters

Countries like India, China, Canada, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the United States have already sent disaster assistance, medical supplies, and search and rescue teams to Nepal, NBC News reported. The United Kingdom and European Union have also pledged to pitch in.