Update Tuesday April 28
Mudslides and Avalanches continues into Tuesday, further confounding the tragic situation in Nepal. The United nations reports that 1.4 million people require food aide and over 8 million people have been affected by the earthquakes.
On Saturday April 25, 2014, at 11:56 AM local time (6:11 AM GMT), at a depth of about 15 km, a major, 20 second earthquake struck approximately 80 km northwest of Kathmandu, Nepal. Conflicting reports of the strength were registered by the US Geological Survey, the China Earthquake Networks Centre, and The India Meteorological Department, ranging from 7.8 to 8.1.
35 minutes after the initial shock, a second major quake of magnitude 6.6 struck, causing further damage to already weakened buildings. Avalanches in Himalayan regions have been reported, and climbers on Mt. Everest (the tallest peak in the world) have been hit by such events.
On Saturday night, people in Kathmandu spent the night sleeping in the streets and open areas to avoid being trapped inside structurally weakened building in case of colapse or further quakes.
At 12:54 PM, Sunday April 26th, shortly after the 24 hour mark from the initial quake, another large 6.7 aftershock hit, spreading panic throughout the nation. This triggered more avalanches on Mt. Everest, causing many to fear that the death toll on the mountain could rise quickly in the next few days.
Due to the remote location of the nation of Nepal and the extent of infrastructure damaged in the quake, information has been slow to come from the nation.
What we know:
- The first quake registered at least 7.8 on the Richter Magnitude Scale, the same magnitude as the San Fransisco Earthquake of 1906.
- At least 43 tremors of magnitude 4.5 or greater have been felt in the 34 hours since the initial event, with a major aftershock of 6.6 felt 35 minutes after the initial major quake.
- An 6.7 magnitude aftershock on Sunday April 26th triggered further avalanches on Everest and speed panic through Kathmandu.
- By Tuesday April 28th, at least 4,400 people have been declared dead in Nepal. This number is expected to rise over the next days as buildings are explored and head counts are taken.
- Casualties have been reported in India, Bangladesh, & Tibetan China where avalanches were triggered by the large quake.
- With over 5,000 injured and many trapped, the government of Nepal has declared a state of emergency.
- Hospitals are at a maximum capacity, and people with minor injuries are being turned away.
- Dharahara Tower, a nine story tower built in 1832 and a major landmark in Kathmandu, crumbled, with little of the base remaining.
- As of Tuesday, 18 Climbers on Mount Everest are known to have perished in avalanches. 61 more sustained injuries in the multiple avalanches. The mountain's basecamp, as well as nearby sherpa villages are reported to have been hit by avalanches triggered by the many quakes. Nepal estimates 1,000 climbers, including about 400 foreigners, were on the mountain at the time.
- US citizens in need of assistance should call +977 1 423 4068
- Many nations and charities are matching donations to the relief effort, including Facebook who are matching donations up to 2 million dollars.