A powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing hundreds of people, toppling a 19th-century tower in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and triggering a fatal avalanche on Mount Everest
There were reports of devastation in outlying areas of the Himalayan country after the quake struck with a magnitude of 7.9, its epicentre 50 miles (80 km) east of Nepal’s second largest city, Pokhara.
Here are the LIVE updates:
08:00 pm: PM Modi promises all help to Nepal
With Nepal being hit by a massive earthquake, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised all possible help to it in this “tough” time as he spoke to its President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.
“Nepal’s pain is our pain,” Modi said while expressing sadness over the loss of lives and property caused by the quake in Nepal as well as in India.
07:30 pm: BSNL to charge local rates for calls to Nepal for 3 days
Telephone calls made on BSNL network to earthquake-hit Nepal for the next three days will attract only local call rates, the state-owned company said.
The move is aimed at enabling Indians to connect with their near and dear ones in Nepal, which saw several hundreds dead following a massive earthquake.
7.14 pm: Indians in Nepal may please contact our mission in Kathmandu. Our mission will provide you all help: Sushma Swaraj
6.30 pm: India sends 4 aircraft with relief supplies, team to Nepal
As many as four aircraft including a C-130 plane carrying three tonnes of relief supplies and a 40-member rescue team were today pressed into service to assist Nepal after it suffered a devastating earthquake.
6.30 pm: 18 feared dead at Mount Everest due avalanche after earthquake
Atleast 18 people are feared dead at Mount Everest base camp-1 & 2 in the avalanche after earthquake. Several bodies are feared trapped.
Indian Army Mount Everest expedition has been rushed to the spot for rescue work. Till now 18 bodies have been recovered and the rescue operation in on at both the base camps.
6.15 pm: Pak offers help to Nepal, India after 7.9-magnitude quake
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today extended all assistance to India and Nepal that were hit by a powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake.
“The Government and people of Pakistan express solidarity with the affected people of Nepal and India and offer all possible help that may be required in their hour of grief,” Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement.
Sharif, who is visiting Britain, offered condolences and help besides instructing its Missions in the two countries to approach their respective host governments to ascertain the damages caused and the requirement of relief assistance, according to the FO.
6.05 pm: One dead in Indian embassy in Kathmandu
The daughter of an employee of the Indian embassy in Kathmandu died in the massive earthquake in Nepal, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Saturday.
“A house in our embassy complex collapsed. Unfortunately, the daughter of our employee Madan has died. His wife’s condition is serious,” she tweeted.
5.55 pm: Nepal quake death toll reaches 758 – Nepal Home Ministry official
The death toll in Nepal has risen to 758, a home ministry official said, of which 467 were in the Kathmandu Valley that is the most heavily populated part of the Himalayan country.
5.45 pm: We have mobilised all resources to support Nepal in the wake of devastating earthquake: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
5.30 pm: According to United States Geological survey, death toll may reach 10,000 and GDP losses might reach 50 per cent in aftermath of Nepal earthquake.
5.15 pm: Delhi L-G calls meeting of disaster management agency
To check the city’s preparedness in the event of an earthquake, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has called a meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and various other government agencies later this evening as reports emerged of the devastation caused by the high- intensity tremors in Nepal
5.06 pm: Toll mounts to 688
The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday has risen to 688, a senior home ministry official told Reuters, with 181 people killed in the capital Kathmandu.
The quake measuring 7.9 is the strongest to hit the country in 81 years.
5.04 pm: Nepal death toll reaches 688 – senior Nepal Home Ministry official
5.00 pm: Nepal quake death toll reaches 618 – Nepal Home Ministry official on Indian TV
4.56 pm: NDRF personnel, relief material rushed to Nepal
Indian Air Force’s C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft took off from the Hindon airbase near New Delhi carrying NDRF personnel and relief material to Nepal in the wake of the devastating earthquake.
Defence sources said a C-17 Globemaster is being prepared for take off and will be carrying about 40-member strong Rapid Reaction Aero Medical Team and doctors besides relief material to the country after India assured Nepal of all help.
4.45 pm: Nearly 125 Indians stranded in Nepal
Nearly 125 people from Maharashtra and Telangana are stranded in Nepal. According to officials at the Maharashtra Information Centre in Delhi, around 80 people from Nashik had gone to Nepal for pilgrimage while 15-20 people were on a trekking expedition.
4.35 pm: Quake avalanche kills 8 at Nepal’s Everest Base camp
An avalanche triggered by a deadly earthquake in Nepal buried a part of the base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest, killing at least eight people, Nepal’s tourism ministry said.
“The toll could go up, it may include foreigners as well as sherpas,” tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha said.
4.30 pm: Three people dead in West Bengal due to earthquake, says CM Mamata Banerjee
4.25 pm: As many as 500 people have been killed in the earthquake, said a Nepalese official in Delhi
Deputy Chief of Mission of Nepal High Commission in New Delhi, Krishna Prasad Dhakal, told the media that according to local reports reaching here, at least 500 people have been killed across Nepal.
“We are trying to ascertain the exact number (of casualties),” he said.
He also said that the Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who had gone to Thailand on an official visit, is cutting short his sojourn and coming back immediately.
4.20 pm: Nepal death toll from quake rises to 449, say police
The death toll from a powerful quake that struck Nepal on Saturday has risen to 449, most of it in the Kathmandu Valley, police said.
The quake measuring 7.9 is the strongest to hit the country in 81 years. “The number of dead so far is 449,” police deputy inspector general Kamal Singh Bam said.
4.14 pm: 24-hr control room in MEA, Nepal thanks India for assistance
A control room has been set up in Ministry of External Affairs to provide all help and information round the clock. The numbers to the 24-hour Control Room are +91 11 2301 2113, +91 11 2301 4104 and +91 11 2301 7905, an official statement said.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh has expressed solidarity with Nepal, saying India stands by it in this hour of distress.
4.00 pm: There are reports of 10-12 casualties in some states but we are awaiting confirmation. Damage to property also reported: Rajnath Singh
3.45 pm: Indian flights to Kathmandu put on hold
Indian Domestic airlines on Saturday put on hold their services to the Nepal capital Kathmandu, following the closure of runway due to a powerful earthquake that rocked central part of the Himalyan country, causing extensive damage to buildings.
All Indian carriers- national airline Air India and private carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet, have put on hold their flight services till they get a go-ahead from the Nepalese aviation authorities.
3.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala, assures him all help.
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