The magnitude-7.8 earthquake striking about 48 miles northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday at 11:56 a.m. local time (2:11 a.m. EDT) caved in buildings and cracked roadways, hampering subsequent search-and-rescue efforts and leading to a death toll in the country that is already 1,130 and counting. Meanwhile, people on the ground are bracing themselves for a likely night of aftershocks. Photographs of the disaster scenes underscore the sense of urgency in the wake of the worst quake to hit the nation in more than 80 years.
Rescuers pulled two people and one body out of the rubble below, at a place called Paltan Ghar, a historical residence in Kathmandu. They are still searching for a fourth person, who may be alive:
Kunda Dixit, the editor of the Nepal Times, described the aftermath via Twitter:
Kathmandu Valley devastated by huge quake. Lots of buildings down. Pall of dust over city.
â€” Kunda Dixit (@kundadixit) April 25, 2015
As night fell, a nervous atmosphere could be felt in Kathmandu, and people searched for open, safe spaces in which to sleep, Kashish Das Shrestha described:
As i walk through city, i see people who are scared but ready to help, buildings standing still, but fragile. The day we dreaded arrived.
â€” Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) April 25, 2015
Tourists and locals sleeping on Thamel street. Others looking for place to sleep. H pic.twitter.com/0PxlWR7ECp
— Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) April 25, 2015
As hospitals overflowed, the injured were being treated in the streets, according to several reports.
More than 180 bodies were pulled from the rubble of the Dharahara tower in the heart of Kathmandu, the Hindu newspaper reported. Built in the 19th century, it collapsed in the earthquake. Below are images of the tower before and after the earthquake. The people appearing in the newer photo offer a sense of its size:
The earthquake also caused an avalanche on Mount Everest that partially buried the base camp there. At least 10 were reported killed, and many more are still missing:
— Rizal Zulkapli AWANI (@rizalzulkapli) April 25, 2015