Major Earthquake Hits Nepal, Heavy Damage Feared

25/04/2015 1:09 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Earthquake.usgs.gov

KATHMANDU A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake hit near Nepal's capital of Kathmandu before noon Saturday, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings, officials said.

Nepal's Information Minister Minendra Rijal told India's NDTV station that there are reports of damage in and around Kathmandu but no immediate word on casualties.

He said rescue teams were on the scene.

The epicenter was 80 kilometers (49 mile) northwest of Kathmandu, he said. The Kathmandu Valley is densely populated with nearly 2.5 million, with the quality of buildings often poor.

An Associated Press reporter in Kathmandu said a wall in his compound collapsed and there was damage to nearby buildings.

The U.S. Geological Survey revised the magnitude from 7.5 to 7.9 and said the quake hit at 11:56 a.m. local time (0611 GMT) at Lamjung a shallow depth of 11 kilometers (7 miles).

Mohammad Shahab, a resident from Lahore, Pakistan, said he was sitting in his office when the earthquake rocked the city near the border with India.

He said the tremors continued for a while but now the situation was normal.

The sustained quake also was felt in India's capital of New Delhi. AP reporters in Indian cities of Lucknow in the north and Patna in the east also reported strong tremors.

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