Rescue crews and residents in Nepal early Sunday began the desperate search for survivors after a magnitude-7.8 quake near the capital of Kathmandu a day earlier flattened homes, buildings and temples, causing widespread damage across the region and killing more than 1,800 people.
Whole streets and squares in the capital of more than 1 million people were covered in rubble. Stunned residents stared at temples that were once part of their daily lives and now were reduced to nothing.
The death toll of 1,832 is expected to rise as the full extent of the damage is assessed.
The loss of life reported so far “is really based on the information we have from the main cities,” Lex Kassenberg, Nepal country director for CARE International, told CNN. “But if you look at the spread of the earthquake a lot of the rural areas have been hit as well. The information we received from the field is that 80% of the houses in these rural areas have been destroyed.”
Having been to Nepal just a year ago, this natural disaster hits me emotionally more than some others. The loss of life already very high, but I suspect it will go well beyond this.
Kathmandu has more world heritage sites than any other city in the world, and at least one of them has been destroyed. Not as important as the loss of life, but still a heavy blow in its own right.
You can donate to the Nepalese Red Cross through the NZ Red Cross here.