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Developing Story

Last updated on May 24, 2015, at 6:10 a.m. ET

Posted on April 25, 2015, at 4:25 a.m. ET

Landslide In Nepal Causes Thousands Of People To Flee

Residents of Ramche village in Myagdi district were forced to abandon their homes in the early hours of Sunday, following a massive landslide which made the water levels of the Kali Gandaki River rise a reported 600 ft.

AP / Niranjan Shrestha

Damaged houses are seen from a helicopter at Charikot, Nepal, Thursday, May 14, 2015.

What We Know So Far

  • Nepal was hit Tuesday by another powerful earthquake.
  • At least 42 people were killed in Tuesday's earthquake, Nepal's Home Ministry said, while over 1,000 were injured.
  • The wreckage of a U.S. military was located on a mountainside Friday. The helicopter, carrying six U.S. Marines and two Nepali soldiers, disappeared Tuesday while helping with the relief effort.
  • The Department of Defense released the names on Sunday of the six U.S. Marines killed in the helicopter crash.
  • The death toll from last month's earthquake rose past 8,000 people on Monday, with another 16,000 injured.
  • That earthquake measured 7.8 and struck around noon local time on April 26. A strong tremor measuring 6.7 struck the following day.


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A massive landslide in western Nepal in the early hours of Sunday caused thousands of people to abandon their homes.

Manish Swarup / AP

FILE – Mountain village destroyed in the April 25 earthquake seen from a helicopter near Dhadingbesti, in Nepal.

Residents of Ramche village in Myadgi district were forced to flee, after water levels of the Kali Gandaki River rose a reported 600 feet, according to Nepalese officials.

"We have asked villagers along the riverside in these districts to move to safer places," interior ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told Reuters.

No casualties have been reported, but the country's army was mobilized to assist with the evacuation efforts and help syphon off the water from the lake inadvertently created by the landslide.

One of the country's largest hydroelectric plants is also thought to be at risk, the BBC reported.

Nepal, still reeling from the massive April 25, 7.8-magnitude quake that killed over 8,000 people, is a mostly mountainous country.

Access to the communities living in those areas was made even more precarious following last month's quake and the continuous aftershocks which completely destroyed the few existing roads.

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The Department of Defense on Sunday released the names of the six U.S. Marines killed when their helicopter went down in Nepal on May 12.

The bodies of the six Marines, along with two Nepalese service members, were brought to the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday.

Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, 29, of Harlan, Nebraska was a pilot with the Marines and an aviation safety officer. His wife is pregnant with their second child.

Sgt. Eric M. Seaman, was a 30-year-old husband and father of two from Riverside, California. He was a U.S. Marines helicopter crew chief.

His wife, Samantha, said in an interview with CNN that Seaman joined the military because he wanted to make a difference.

"My husband, he loved his country, and he wanted to protect his country," she said through tears. "He was a very selfless man, and he would have done anything to help others, and I know that right before he passed away, I know that he helped somebody.

Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, was a combat videographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan, and a native of Maricopa, Arizona. He was in Nepal to document the relief effort.

"You'll never find a better son," his father, Jim Hug, said in an interview with NBC News. "Devoted and dedicated with love for his mother and family like nothing you've ever seen."

The 29-year-old Sgt. Ward M. Johnson, IV, from Seminole, Florida, was in charge of maintaining the helicopter. He was set to retire from the Marines.

Capt. Christopher Norgren, 31, was a native of Sedgwick, Kansas, where he was a football coach. He was a pilot with the Marines.

"I've told him many times that I'm proud of him, and the I love him," said his father, Ron Norgren, in an interview with NBC News. "And the biggest thing I'm going to miss from is his hugs."

Cpl. Sara A. Medina, from Kane, Illinois, was a combat photographer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific, Okinawa, Japan. Some of her photographs can be viewed on the Department of Defense's website.

Lt. Gen John E. Wissler, who was in charge of the Joint Task Force working in Nepal, thanked the nation and its armed forces for their dedication in the search and recovery of the fallen service members.

"I am honored to serve alongside the Nepalese soldiers and to call them my friends" he said.

"You never hesitated in the joint effort to bring our brothers home. Everyone united — the soldiers hiking through hazardous terrain, the pilots flying in uncertain weather conditions and the Nepalese special forces standing watch over our Marines on a mountainside at night," Wissler said. "We honor our fallen comrades through our unselfish support to each other in this time of grief."

The two Nepalese service members were identified by the Nepalese Army as Tapendra Rawal and Basanta Titara, according to The Associated Press.

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Nepal's army said Saturday all 8 bodies have been recovered from the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter crash site.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Nepalese soldiers search for the missing U.S. Marine helicopter in the earthquake affected Dolakha District, Nepal, on May 14, 2015.

According to a statement given to the Associated Press, U.S. military and Nepali personnel are at the crash site near the mountain village of Kalinchok.

The chopper, which was part of the Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron based at Camp Pendleton, California, was carrying six U.S. Marines and two Nepali soldiers when it crashed.

It was said to have been last seen in the mountainous region after another helicopter in the area picked up radio chatter about a fuel problem.

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President Obama on the Nepal crash: "When our friends are in need, America helps."

Obama on 6 @USMC in Nepal crash: "They represent a truth that guides our work around the world: when our friends are in need America helps."

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It is unlikely there are any survivors in the helicopter crash, a U.S. General confirmed.

Unlikely any survivors in wreckage from helicopter crash in #NepalQuake, US general confirms

There were six U.S. marines and two Nepali soldiers on board.

The families of two marines told media outlets on Friday that they were informed by the Marines that their sons were on board the missing helicopter.

Capt. Chris Norgren, a 31-year-old Wichita native, was reportedly the pilot of the helicopter, his father, Ron Norgren, told The Wichita Eagle. Ron Norgren said that Marine Corps representatives informed him on Tuesday that his son was missing. He said Chris sent his mother flowers for Mother's Day while he was in Nepal.

"I told him I was very proud of him, that he's over in Nepal helping people out and that he still remembered Mother's Day," Ron told The Wichita Eagle. "He texted me back and thanked me for the compliment, and that was about it."

The family of Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob "Jake" Hug of Phoenix told that their son was part of the crew on the missing helicopter. They said that the Marines have been in touch with them since the craft disappeared in Nepal.

Hug turned 22 on May 6 while he was on temporary assignment in Nepal. His father, Jim Hug, told that the helicopter reported an issue with the fuel line before it disappeared.

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BuzzFeed News' Anup Kaphle, who has recently returned from Nepal, reports on the discovery of the helicopter wreckage:

The wreckage of the U.S. military helicopter which had been missing after the second earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday has been located, according to Nepal police.

"We have been told by the Nepal army that its search and rescue operation had spotted the wreckage near the village of Kalinchok in Dolakha district," Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a spokesperson for Nepal's Ministry of Home Affairs, told Buzzfeed News.

Dolakha is the epicenter of Tuesday's earthquake, where the helicopter had been assigned for relief efforts.

"The wreckage spot is located at 11,200 feet and we've sent helicopters to the location," he said.

Six U.S. Marines and two Nepal army soldiers were abroad the UH-1Y Venom "Huey" helicopter, which had taken off from the northeastern town of Chariot in Dolakha district.

The chopper was from the Marine Light Attack Helicopter squadron based at Pendleton, California, which was said to have been last seen in the mountainous region after another helicopter in the area picked up radio chatter about a fuel problem. Officials with Joint Task Force 505, which oversees the U.S. humanitarian mission in Nepal, had launched multiple efforts to locate and recover the Huey since it disappeared.

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Searchers located the wreckage of the missing U.S. helicopter Friday, according to multiple reports.

#BREAKING Nepal army says wreckage of missing US military chopper found

According to the Nepali Times, searchers from the Nepal Army found the wreckage in the mountains about 35 miles from Kathmandu. The remains of the helicopter were located at an elevation of 11,100 feet and there were reportedly no survivors.

High terrain where wreckage of @USMC Venom found Friday Mt Gauri Shanker (Chomo Tseringma) in background

The UH-1Y Huey helicopter had been delivering humanitarian aid as well as evacuating people with injuries to Kathmandu. Before disappearing, it was last seen near Charikot, Nepal, officials said.

The AP reported that three bodies had been found near the wreckage.

BREAKING: Nepal's defense secretary says rescue team found 3 bodies near crashed U.S. Marine helicopter

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The death toll from this week's magnitude-7.3 earthquake in Nepal has risen to 114, CNN reported on Thursday.

Authorities said the earthquake killed 96 people in Nepal, 17 in India, and one in China, bringing the total to 114.

More than 2,500 others were injured, Nepali Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said, according to CNN.

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The Nepalese police official who reportedly stated the missing U.S. Marine helicopter had been located says he was misquoted by local media.

Dolakha Police Chief who ws quoted earlier by Ujyalo radio as saying missing US chopper spotted now says he was misquoted. Searches continue

US Military has not confirmed they have located missing Helicopter in Nepal. Marine Spokesperson says they have yet to make contact.

UPDATE U.S. Pacific Command has not gotten word U.S military helo has been found...saying Nepalese police was "misquoted" by media in Nepal.

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The U.S. military helicopter that went missing Tuesday in Nepal was apparently spotted, the government reported.

USA helicopter found at Dolkha, Sunkhani Tatopani and 4 helicopters are mobilized to search (Com. lost due to fogy environment May 12)

The Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs did not elaborate on the condition of the aircraft or its crew, saying only in the tweet that foggy conditions had hampered the search efforts.

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A U.S. military helicopter with six Marines and two Nepalese service members went missing Tuesday.

The status of the eight people on board is unknown, according to a U.S. Department of Defense statement. The UH-1Y Huey helicopter had been delivering humanitarian aid as well as evacuating people with injuries to Kathmandu.

It was last seen near Charikot in Nepal, officials said. Nepalese military forces near there have been searching for the helicopter, and aerial search crews, including from the U.S. military, will resume at daylight on Wednesday .

The helicopter was one of two Hueys working in the area, a USAID spokesperson told ABC News.

View from a @USMC UH-1 helicopter over Charikot, Nepal, during a mission to survey the impact of the #NepalEarthquake

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I've counted at least 10 aftershocks since the big quake this afternoon. Sitting at the airport waiting to board, hoping takeoff happens.

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Tuesday's 7.3-magnitude quake also brought death and destruction to neighboring India.


In northern India, 17 people were reported dead after Tuesday's quake — 16 in Bihar state and one in Uttar Pradesh — while 39 others were injured, according to the Times of India.

On Tuesday, Bihar state government officials shut down schools, which were scheduled to resume classes on May 16.

Schools were also evacuated in New Delhi after tremors were felt there. Students were asked to leave their classrooms and gather on the playground, reported the Times of India.

Tremors were also felt across parts of the Madhya Pradesh region, but there were no casualties reported there.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed authorities to be on alert for rescue and relief operations.

The External Affairs Ministry has set up control rooms in New Delhi, as well as in Nepal, to coordinate those involved in rescue and relief operations.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday that all Indian Embassy personnel in Kathmandu escaped the country's latest quake unhurt, The Hindu reported.

"Our Embassy in Kathmandu and all staff members are reported to be safe," they said.

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Instagram users around Kathmandu have been sharing clips of the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake. Parakramrana posted this video of the ground shaking towards the end of the tremor:

Pavel_udas uploaded this footage of the scenes of post-quake panic around Kathmandu's New Road Gate:

Kenn_veradio posted this video of tents being set up along the roadside:

Meanwhile, nur_sherpa was able to film one of the aftershocks.

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An Oxfam spokesperson told BuzzFeed News via email on Tuesday that aid workers were still trying to assess the damage and number of casualties caused by the latest quake.

Ranup Shrestha / AP

Oxfam has teams based both in the capital Kathmandu and in the Gorkha district— the epicenter of the massive 7.8-magnitude quake, which struck the country on April 25, killing over 8,000 people.

"Gorkha team says there has been some damage and some injuries but don't know complete details yet," Gunjan Jain from Oxfam India said via email. "Oxfam teams in both areas are accounted for. A photographer in Barpak currently says that he was standing on someone's roof when he felt the tremors but doesn't see any visible damage as yet."

Last week, Nepal's prime minister said in an address to parliament that the country would be totally rebuilt within two years and that the government would provide loans of up to $25,000 for the rebuilding of private homes.

But speaking to BuzzFeed News on the phone from India, Deputy Chief of Mission at Nepal's Embassy in New Delhi Krishna Prassad said that if these quakes and aftershocks keep on happening, the rebuilding process will be made "much more difficult."

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This map from the New York Times shows the location of the 7.8-magnitude quake that hit Nepal on April 25, alongside Tuesday's 7.3-magnitude tremor.

Powerful 7.3 quake strikes #Nepal just 17 days after 7.8 quake devastated the region.

This map from Al Jazeera shows the location of the 2015 earthquakes alongside other major tremors in Nepal since 1934.

Earthquake-devastated Nepal reels from a fresh quake. Death toll rises to 42

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The death toll from Tuesday's quake has reached almost 30, while the number of injured stands at over 1,000, according to the BBC. Those numbers are expected to rise, however, as both government officials and NGOs continue to assess the damage.

#NepalEarthquake: Latest updates - 29 dead - 1,006 injured - 31 of 75 districts affected

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This video from Red Cross Canada was taken after the earthquake, near Dhunche.

Here's a video we have just received from @redcrosscanada near Dhunche, #Nepal, after today's #NepalQuake.

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This video shot by Liam Arthur, who is in Nepal volunteering for ShelterBox — an NGO — shows the desperation felt by the people in the streets of Kathmandu as Tuesday's quake struck.

Eyewitness footage of the latest #earthquake from our @ShelterBox team in #Nepal:

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The Nepalese Home Ministry said that at least 19 people have died and at least 981 injured in Tuesday morning's quake, AP reported.

BREAKING: Nepal's Home Ministry says at least 19 people killed and 981 injured in latest earthquake

Krishna Prasad, deputy chief of mission at Nepal’s Embassy in New Delhi, confirmed to BuzzFeed News that at least a dozen had died and over a thousand had been injured.

Athit Perawongmetha / Reuters

Nepalese military personnel stand on a collapsed building in central Kathmandu.

USGS have also revised the magnitude of the quake down to 7.3.

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Landslides and collapsed buildings were reported in the region.

This building collapsed in Naya Bus Park today's quake; Nepali security forces working to rescue elderly woman inside

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"It felt like like I was on a boat on rough seas as aftershocks hit."

Tashi Sherpa / AP

In an email to BuzzFeed News, Unicef's Rose Foley described the moment Tuesday's 7.4 tremor struck.

"We dived under tables in the Unicef building as it rocked from side to side," Foley said. "The shaking seemed to go on and on. We got out to safety as soon as possible. Sitting out in the open it felt like I was on a boat on rough seas as aftershocks hit."

Tuesday's violent tremor came three weeks after a 7.8 quake killed at least 8,000 people while leaving many more injured. Country officials are still in the midst of recovering bodies stuck under the double from that quake.

The level of destruction caused by Tuesday's quake is not yet clear at this point.

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Aftershocks were reported in Nepal following Tuesday's earthquake.

The aftershocks keep coming. At least five in the last hour -- feet and heart both tremble. #NepalEarthquake

The 6.3 aftershock was in Dolakha and 5.6 aftershock was in Sindhupalchok, both of which were hit badly two wks ago. #NepalEarthquake

Most people in Kathmandu were in offices when the quake struck. Everyone bolted toward streets. #NepalEarthquake

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The International Organization for Migration told the Associated Press that a number of buildings collapsed in the isolated town of Chautara after the earthquake, killing at least four people.

A huge landslide reported in Sailung Danda in Kavrepalanchok after the quake, bringing down loose rocks. #NepalEarthquake

Older homes that tilted two weeks ago are crumbling in Lalitpur countryside, local radio station says. #NepalEarthquake

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Another strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck in Nepal Tuesday morning, U.S. Geological Survey said.

http://U.S. Geological Survey

The tremor was initially recorded as 7.1 magnitude, but was quickly upgraded. The earthquake which killed more than 8,000 in the country on April 25 was 7.8 magnitude.

The new quake struck near the base camp of Mount Everest, 83 kilometers from the capital Kathmandu, at a depth of 10 kilometers, Reuters said.

Prelim M7.4 earthquake NEPAL May-12 07:05 UTC, updates, 86 #quake tweets/min

BuzzFeed News' Anup Kaphle reports from Nepal:

Epicenter of latest #NepalEarthquake is reported as Namche Bazar, "the gateway to Everest" in Solukhumbu district.

Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit tweeted that aftershocks are likely to follow this new major tremor.

This 7.4 aftershock will trigger more aftershocks.

Other journalists in the country have tweeted that the quake — which was felt as far away as Delhi — sparked scenes of panic.

Hundreds of people running of out of Kathmandu airport. Scary shaking from aftershock #NepalQuake

Thousands of people from all offices in our building evacuated - waited outside anxiously

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The Nepalese government pledged on Friday to rebuild the country’s infrastructure within two years.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

"The government will reconstruct damaged public buildings, roads, schools, hospitals, telecom facilities, power houses, and colleges in two years," Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said in an address to parliament.

In addition to his two-year pledge, Koirala also announced the government would provide loans of up to $25,000, at an interest rate of no more than two percent a year, for the rebuilding of private homes, Reuters reported.

For many, though, Koirala's promises are a tall order. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and with initial reconstruction costs estimated to be in the billions of dollars, experts say it will take a huge effort from both country officials and the international community to build the country back up.

"What we need now is vision — we need to say how do we want to look in 20 or 30 years' time," Nepali Times Editor Kunda Dixit told the BBC.

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Funchu Tamang reportedly survived for a week under the rubble of his own house before rescuers found him.

Str / Getty Images
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Manish Swarup / AP

A Nepalese boy stands outside his village with a signboard asking for help in Pauwathok village, Sindhupalchok district, Nepal, Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Millions of victims of the destructive earthquake in Nepal are in need of food and assistance, according to a report from the United Nations, as the number of dead in the country reached more than 7,000.

As of Saturday morning, there were 7,040 dead and more than 14,000 injured in the region, multiple news sources reported. Rescue crews, however, continued to search through the rubble.

According to the U.N., 16 people have been rescued by search crews.

Meanwhile, the U.N's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported Saturday about $415 million in humanitarian relief was needed for the region.

Teams have also been sent out to find camps that have been erected by displaced communities, but not all camps have been identified and landslides caused by the earthquake and aftershocks have slowed travel, according to the report.

About 3 million people are in need of food, the report said.

A week after the earthquake, the Nepalese Army has delivered more than 100 tons of food and relief supplies.

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Children at risk of contracting diseases like cholera and diarrhoea, Unicef warns.

Manish Swarup / AP

A week after Nepal's devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake which left over 6,600 people dead so far, the United Nations' children's agency, Unicef, warned on Saturday that millions of children are now at risk of contracting serious contagious diseases.

"Hospitals are overflowing, water is scarce, bodies are still buried under the rubble and people are still sleeping in the open. This is a perfect breeding ground for diseases," UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nepal Rownak Khan said in an email to BuzzFeed News.

While aid has started to trickled down to those affected in the capital Kathmandu, some of the country's most remote regions are still to receive any kind of help.

Nepal is a mountainous country where properly paved roads are rare. Some villages set on the steep hills, in addition to have been completely destroyed, are only accessible via air.

"We definitely need more helicopters," Executive Director of the U.N.'s World Food Program Ertharin Cousin told the Associated Press. "This is one of the poorest places on Earth. If the global community walks away, the people of this country will not receive the assistance that is required for them to rebuild their lives."

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The death toll in the worst earthquake to strike Nepal in 80 years surpassed 6,600 people Saturday.

Kamal Singhbam, the deputy inspector general of Kathmandu police, told the Associated Press 6,624 people had died since the devastating earthquake struck one week ago.

An additional 14,025 people were reported injured as rescuers continued to comb through the rubble for any sign of survivors.

View this video on YouTube

Survivors living near the quake's epicenter, now living in makeshift camps, told AFP news agency they felt abandoned after their homes were destroyed in the disaster.

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The Nepalese government will give families of earthquake victims $1,400, the AP reported.

State-run Radio Nepal made announced Friday that victims would be receiving $1,000 for each person killed in Saturday's earthquake and they would get an additional $400 to cover funeral costs, according to the AP.

Also Friday, the European Union confirmed that 12 citizens have died in the earthquake but the head of the EU delegation in Kathmandu added that 1,000 citizens are still missing, according to Reuters.

"We don't know where they are, or they could be," Ambassador Rensje Teerink told reporters. He said that most were tourists in the Langtang and Lukla trekking region that was hit with an avalanche and mudslides, Reuters reported.

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The death toll from the quake rose to 6,134 people Friday, CNN reported.

Citing Nepal's National Emergency Coordination Center, CNN also reported that the number of injured people rose to 13,906.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

A Buddhist monk salvages a statue of a Buddhist deity from a monastery around the famous Swayambhunath stupa on April 30.

Wally Santana / AP

A villager sits at his collapsed home in the destroyed village of Jalingi near the Gorkha district, the epicenter of Saturday's earthquake.

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A teenage boy was found alive after five days trapped beneath rubble.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

"It's a huge miracle," one rescue worker said as celebrations erupted in Kathmandu. The boy, Pema Lama, reportedly said two more people were trapped in the wreckage with him.

Read the whole story here.

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The official death toll from the earthquake rose to more than 5,500 people Thursday.

Officials said 5,489 people died in Nepal alone, the Associated Press reported. Another 61 people died in India and Bangladesh. In Tibet, 25 people died, according to Xinhua News Agency in China.

Nepalese officials told the AP that 11,440 people also were injured in their country.

"Everything is destroyed. Not even one home is standing. We think there is still one person dead under the rubble," 32-year-old Narayan Thapa said about his village of Bungkot.

"People are hungry there, they are suffering. I'm doing whatever I can to help."

On Wednesday, officials had told BuzzFeed News the death toll was expected to rise considerably.

Surveillance video from Kathmandu also captured the moment the earthquake struck and shows a building collapsing onto a street.

View this video on YouTube
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A Nepalese man trapped in rubble for three days "drank own urine" to survive.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Rishi Khanal was pulled from a collapsed three-story Kathmandu hotel after being trapped there for 82 hours.

Read the full story here.

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The United Nations' children's agency, Unicef, launched a $50 million appeal on Wednesday to get humanitarian assistance to children and their families.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

A Unicef spokesperson in London told BuzzFeed News that figure is just to get the humanitarian effort going for the next three months. After that, officials will re-assess the situation on the ground and decide what is needed.

Nepal, one of the poorest countries in southeast Asia, relies heavily on tourism and agriculture to feed most of its citizens.

Saturday's quake, in addition to killing thousands, destroyed many people's crops and livestock.

The country's economy also depends greatly on remittances sent by migrant workers.

Barnaby Willitts-King, a research fellow from the humanitarian program at the U.K.'s Overseas Development Institute, lived and worked in Nepal for many years.

King said those who work abroad, in addition to taking on debt, will have to abandon their jobs and return home to rebuild their properties, putting a dent in the country's economy.

"People who had to return from the Gulf to rebuild their houses will probably lose that income which probably supported dozens of family members," he said. "It's going to hugely disrupt an economy that's heavily dependent on migrant labour."

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Flying over Mt. Everest base camp on Wednesday, an NBC News crew captured the devastation left by the avalanche which was sparked by Saturday's quake.

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Protesters clash with police in Kathmandu as frustration grows over the government's slow response.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Five days after one of the most devastating earthquakes in Nepal's recent history, residents in the capital Kathmandu are growing restless at the slow pace of rescue and relief operations.

On Wednesday, some 200 people blocked traffic in the streets of the capital to protest against the slow delivery of aid by government officials.

Clashes with the police ensued although no arrests were made.

"We are hungry, we haven't had anything to drink," one protester told the Associated Press. "We haven't been able to sleep. I have a 7-year-old child who is sleeping in the open. It's getting cold and people are getting pneumonia."

Saturday's 7.8 quake killed over 5,000 people so far, while leaving many thousands injured and homeless. Hundreds are still believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Aid workers have told BuzzFeed News that aftershocks have been a constant occurrence since the main tremor on Saturday, and that even those whose houses were left standing are scared to stay inside.

As officials are still trying to rescue people and access the most remote areas of the country, it is still unknown how long and how much it will take for Nepal, one of the poorest countries in southeast Asia, to return to some kind of normalcy.

Barnaby Willitts-King, a research fellow from the humanitarian program at the U.K.'s Overseas Development Institute, lived and worked in Nepal for several years. Speaking to BuzzFeed News on the phone, King said it will take a huge effort from Nepalese and international officials to rebuild the lives of the millions affected by the quake.

"In terms of getting back up, they haven't got that far to go because they didn't have much before," he said. "It's going to take several years and some really good support from the government and the international community to really help people rebuild their lives."

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"People are still sleeping in the open because of the constant aftershocks," a Unicef official in Kathmandu told BuzzFeed News.

Bernat Armangue / AP

After Saturday's devastating earthquake which has killed at least 4,500 people, the ground under the feet of millions of Nepalese has continued to shake.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News from Kathmandu, Unicef Communications Manager Rupa Joshi said the aftershocks have been a daily occurrence.

"People are living in the open because of the constant aftershocks," Joshi said on the phone.

Nepal's government deployed the army to help with relief and rescue operations, but country officials have been struggling to cope with the sheer number of those in need of assistance.

"People will be lucky if they get a tent, otherwise they will be exposed to the elements," Joshi added.

Besides the continuous rescue efforts, the main priorities are shelter, water, and sanitation in what has been deemed Nepal's most devastating earthquake in almost a century.

Another big concern has been the difficulty of accessing remote villages in the country's mountainous regions.

Oxfam India Deputy Director Zubin Zaman, coordinating the relief operation from Kolkata, told BuzzFeed News on Monday that Nepalese roads were already in poor condition and that Saturday's earthquake just "compounded the problem."

But it's not just access that's concerning aid officials. Joshi also spoke about the absence of men in those places.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

"Most of the men in those villages have left to work in the Gulf states so there is a lack of muscle power. Only elderly women and children live in those places."

"We have lost our heritage."

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Debris of one of Nepal's oldest temples after it was damaged in Saturday’s earthquake.

As the Nepalese continue to deal with the devastating loss of human life, they will also have to come to terms with a different tragedy: the destruction of some of the country's most sacred buildings.

"We have lost our heritage, I feel like I've lost part of my history," Joshi said.

The U.N.'s culture organization, Unesco, said it was "shocked" by the devastating impact of Saturday's earthquake.

"As we are receiving more information from the ground, I am deeply aggrieved by the magnitude of human loss caused by the earthquake in Nepal," Unesco Secretary-General Irina Bokova said. "I am also shocked by its devastating impact on the unique cultural heritage in the country, in particular extensive and irreversible damage at the World Heritage site of Kathmandu Valley."

The Kathmandu Valley is an area made up of seven monument zones. Unesco said three of those areas in Kathmandu — Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, and Patan — are completely destroyed.

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Nepal's prime minister said on Tuesday that the number of dead could reach 10,000.

Manish Swarup / AP

Nepalese relatives carry the body of an earthquake victim for cremation.

"The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing," Sushil Koirala said in an interview with Reuters.

"It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal."

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So far 4,352 bodies have been recovered, the Associated Press reported.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam said 8,063 people have been injured.

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The death toll has reached 4,000, officials told the Associated Press.

The Nepalese government said 3,904 people died in Nepal, while 7,180 were injured.

In addition, an avalanche caused by the earthquake Saturday killed 18 people at Mount Everest's base camp, 61 people were killed in neighboring India, and China reported 25 people died in Tibet.

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Israel has started to evacuate surrogate-born babies and their parents from Nepal, The Guardian is reporting.

Because surrogacy for same-sex couples is illegal in Israel, many couples travel to Nepal to have children, stay in the country for a month, and then return home.

The Guardian said that three newborn babies and eight other passengers were transported back to Israel on a small military plane. Israeli foreign ministry officials plan to bring back another 22 babies and their parents, and four surrogate mothers.

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Sunday's aftershock near Kathmandu resulted in an evacuation of airport officials. When a plane attempted to land in Nepal shortly after, the pilot learned the air traffic control tower was completely unoccupied.

The Associated Press reported that Sunday, during a Thai Airways flight into Nepal's Tribhuwan International Airport, the flight crew found out that nobody was running the control tower.

The aircraft was stuck on the tarmac for more than an hour.

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A video posted to YouTube purports to show drone footage of the destruction.

View this video on YouTube
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Nepal was hit by fresh tremors on Monday.

Wally Santana / AP

A tremor measuring 5.1 in magnitude was felt in Nepal on Monday, according to the USGS.

Monday's aftershock was also felt in India's West Bengal and Bihar regions.

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Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit posted this shocking video shot by a Turkish tourist in Kathmandu's Darbar Square at the moment the earthquake struck on Saturday.

Scary video taken by Turkish tourist Sözcü Gazetesi of the destruction of Kathmandu Darbar Square. #NepalQuake

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Accessing remote villages was said to be "a major challenge."

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

As relief and rescue operations go into their third day, aid agencies are now faced with the difficulty of accessing remote villages all over Nepal.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News from Kolkata, Oxfam India Deputy Director Zubin Zaman said it has been "a major challenge."

"The roads were bad before, the earthquake just compounded the problem," said Zaman, who's coordinating Oxfam's relief operation from Kolkata.

Zaman also added that poor construction and urban planning, coupled with overpopulation, have hugely contributed to the death toll.

"It's not just a Nepal problem, it's a southeast Asian problem — we need a lot more planning and thinking."

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Nepalese police reported on Monday that the number of dead stood at over 3,600.

Total number of dead and injured as of 12 o'clock is as follows. Dead 3617 and 6515. In KTM valley dead 1302 and injured 4228.

However, Unicef told BuzzFeed News it was still trying to confirm those figures with the Nepalese government.

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At least three Americans were confirmed to be among the thousands of dead in Nepal.

At least 18 people were killed in an avalanche on Mt. Everest triggered by Saturday's earthquake, and at least three of them were reportedly Americans.

Seattle-based Madison Mountaineering wrote on its website that Marisa Eve Girawong, a camp medic, was among the dead.

The statement reads:

It is with deep sorrow and profound grief that we can confirm the loss of our Everest/Lhotse base camp doctor, Marisa Eve Girawong. Eve perished in the aftermath of the avalanche that struck the base camp area following the devastating Nepal earthquake earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eve and her family and friends.

Girawong, a physician's assistant from New Jersey, had completed her medical training in Chicago and was working on a second degree in the U.K. that focused on mountain medicine, Madison Mountaineering said. She was also an avid rock climber and mountaineer and had reached the summits of Mt. Washington and Mt. Rainier.

Google executive Dan Fredinburg was also killed in the avalanche. He was a privacy director for the Google X team, which is responsible for some of the company's most innovative initiatives.

According to an Instagram post on his account written by his sister Megan, Fredinburg succumbed to a severe head injury. She wrote:

We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us. All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us.

Fredinburg's girlfriend, Ashley Arenson, said in a CNN interview on Sunday that he was "magical."

"He had this way of making the people around him just feel special without even trying, and make people feel feel like they could accomplish anything they wanted," Arenson said.

Actress Sophia Bush, who had dated Fredinburg, also posted a heartfelt message on Instagram:

Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend.

Tom Taplin, a documentary filmmaker from Santa Monica, also died on Mt. Everest, his wife, Cory Freyer, confirmed to ABC News.

Cory Freyer

Taplin, 61, had been on the mountain working on his documentary for four weeks.

Freyer told NBC News that her husband was a passionate photographer, filmmaker, and mountaineer. In the 1990s, he wrote a book about his experiences climbing South America's tallest peak, Aconcagua.

"It sounds trite," Freyer said, "but he died doing what he loved doing."

The State Department confirmed to BuzzFeed News that three Americans died but has not released their identities.

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A YouTube user posted a video on Sunday that purports to show a Mount Everest base camp when it was hit by an avalanche triggered by the earthquake.

View this video on YouTube
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Hundreds of Buddhists gathered at temples to pray for the victims.

STR / Getty Images
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Many residents were forced to sleep outside in tents after the quake.

PRAKASH SINGH / Getty Images
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As aftershocks continue to rattle Nepal, some of the victims are being laid to rest in mass cremations.

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Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

A mother and her child sit inside a makeshift shelter in an open area to keep safe after the earthquake in Kathmandu.

Nearly 1 million children around the earthquake are in need of aid, Unicef said in a statement:

At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by yesterday's earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, says UNICEF. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake on 25 April, and nearly 60 aftershocks, caused vast devastation across much of the country, including more than 2,000 deaths and widespread destruction of buildings.

There have been reports of dwindling supplies of water and food, power outages, and downed communication networks. Hundreds of thousands of people spent the night sleeping in open areas, out of fear of more tremors. Heavy rain is now also reported which can further worsen the conditions. This crisis leaves children particularly vulnerable - limited access to safe water and sanitation will put children at great risk from waterborne diseases, while some children may have become separated from their families.

Adnan Abidi / Reuters

A girl holds her mother as they stand outside a hospital in Kathmandu

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The United Nations said the death toll stands at 2,288 and is expected to rise. Hospitals are running out of space, with one facility treating people in the streets. Here's the latest U.N. situation report:

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The U.S. State Department confirmed to BuzzFeed News via email on Sunday that three Americans died in the earthquake:

We can confirm that three U.S. citizens died in Nepal on April 25. The United States expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims. Out of respect for the privacy of those affected by this tragedy, we will not comment further.

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Speaking on the phone from Kolkata, Oxfam India Deputy Director Zubin Zaman told BuzzFeed News the situation on the ground is "dire."

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

"It is as bad as the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan," Zaman said.

An estimated 75,000 people died in that quake 10 years ago, which measured 7.6 in magnitude.

Aid workers' main priority at the moment is relief and rescue operations. Zaman said hundreds of thousands of people remain without any alternative shelter.

"There just aren't enough shelters, but people are also scared to stay inside," he said.

On Sunday, another earthquake measured 6.7 in magnitude was felt 50 miles east of Kathmandu, sending people running to open spaces.

In spite of the desperate situation, Zaman said the Nepalese are really trying to help each other.

"It's a pretty cohesive society with strong values. There have been no reports of looting or anything like that."

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that America stands ready to assist Nepal during this difficult time.

I join the people of the United States in expressing our deepest condolences to all of those affected by today's earthquake in Nepal, including the families of those who died in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.

We are working closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support. Ambassador Bodde has issued a disaster declaration in order to immediately release an initial $1 million for humanitarian assistance. USAID is preparing to deploy a Disaster Assistance Response Team and is activating an Urban Search and Rescue Team to accompany disaster experts and assist with assessments of the situation.

To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies. The United States stands with you during this difficult time.

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Nepal's Defense Ministry, which is helping with rescue and relief operations, announced on Sunday it will suspend air and terrestrial traffic until 4 p.m. local time due to the continuous tremors, India's NDTV reported.

Deputy Chief of Mission at Nepal's Embassy in India Krishna Prasad told BuzzFeed News on Sunday that "aftershocks are continuous and getting stronger."

Niranjan Shrestha / AP
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Kathmandu shaken up by another quake, causing panic among the population.

Another major tremor struck the Nepalese capital on Sunday morning. The latest quake measured 6.7 in magnitude, according to the USGS.

The epicenter of Sunday's quake was about 50 miles east of Kathmandu.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit described the power of the latest tremor in this tweet:

That was an earthquake, not an aftershock.

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Nepalese officials increased the death toll from the earthquakes to 1,910 people, the AP reported Sunday.

Tashi Sherpa / AP

A car in Kathmandu stands under the weight of an electric pole that collapsed during an earthquake Saturday.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

Rescuers look for victims under a building that collapsed in Kathmandu Saturday.

Of the nearly 2,000 who killed by the quake, 721 were in Kathmandu, according to the AP. Officials also expect the death to keep rising. The shaking also left at least 5,000 people injured.

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An avalanche sparked by the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal is believed to have killed 17 people on Everest, CNN and the AP reported. Sixty-one others were reportedly injured.

Azim Afif / AP
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The Nepalese Home Ministry reported that the death toll from the 7.8 earthquake reached more than 1,800 Saturday night, the AP reported.

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Nepal's national police told the AP rescue efforts would continue through the night in Nepal, even as thousands of people slept outdoors for fear of more aftershocks.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, large earthquakes in the area are rare. Just four major earthquakes have occurred in the area in the last 100 years, including a 6.9 earthquake in 1988 that struck 240 kilometers south of Saturday's epicenter.

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The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert to Nepal Saturday evening, warning that the risk of aftershocks following the 7.8 earthquake devastated the region are significant.

Cell phone use and Internet service were intermittent in the area, and several roads were impassable because of structural damage or congestion from crowds of people, according to the statement.

"If you are in a safe location, the best option might be to shelter in place," the statement read. "Avoid large crowds as they can turn violent with little notice."

Those that could, were asked to contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu to let friends and family know their situation.

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Relief agency CARE has an aid worker in Kathmandu who witnessed people sleeping in the streets as night fell, too afraid to return to their homes for fear of collapse.


"I think 100% of people in Kathmandu are not inside their homes," said Santosh Sharma, emergency response coordinator with CARE, in a statement given to BuzzFeed News. "Everyone is outside with no tents or blankets. This are very difficult conditions for women, children and elderly people. It's very cold for them, and the aftershocks just keep coming for hours. Everyone is afraid to go indoors, so we will all sleep outside in the cold tonight."

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Photos have emerged from the Mt. Everest base camp, which was hit by an avalanche triggered by the quake. At least 10 people on Everest were killed and more are missing.

Azim Afif / AP

The photos were provided by Azim Afif. Afif and his team of four others from the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia all survived the avalanche.

Azim Afif / AP
Azim Afif / AP
Azim Afif / AP

Nightfall at base camp.

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The White House says it is sending $1 million in disaster aid to Nepal and is deploying a team of "disaster relief experts" to the country.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement that the U.S. "stands ready" to further assist the people of Nepal.

"The American people express deep condolences for the lives lost in today's earthquake," she said.

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ABC News Australia reporter Siobhan Heanue is on the ground in Kathmandu and has been posting videos of the earthquake's aftermath.

Toppled monuments and destroyed buildings and temples line the streets of Kathmandu #nepaleathquake

People aghast at the sight of their historic temples destroyed. Thousands walking home, chaos #NepalEarthquake

Crowds gather as a handful of rescuers dig through rubble of collapsed residential building by hand #NepalQuake

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Oxfam International released a statement saying "people are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks."

Oxfam's team in Nepal are assessing humanitarian need following the devastating earthquake. A team of technical experts are also preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.

Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said: "Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off, making charging mobile phones difficult. The water is also cut off. The number of people killed is continuing to rise. Many of the old houses have been destroyed and at least one large apartment block has come down in Kathmandu. Given the closeness to the epicenter, Pokhara must also be badly affected. Oxfam is preparing to help provide clean water and emergency food. People are gathered in their thousands in open spaces and are scared as there have been several aftershocks."

People can donate to Oxfam's response online at

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The death toll has now passed at least 1,000 people.

A police official said that at least 1,130 people are confirmed dead, with the number expected to rise, the Associated Press reported.

The Nepalese minister for information told the Washington Post that the number of dead had reached over 1,400.

The government also said the final death toll could be three times the latest numbers, the Washington Post reported.

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The death toll from the earthquake has now reportedly reached over 900 people, with the number expected to rise.

Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

Early reports indicated at least 926 people were killed in four separate countries, the Associated Press reported.

The majority of the deaths were in Nepal, although deaths were also reported in India, Tibet, and Bangladesh. At least two of the dead were Chinese citizens killed near the Nepalese border, the AP reported.

Other reports put the death toll over 1,000. Reuters reported that at least 1,100 people had died in Nepal alone, citing a police official.

At least eight guides and climbers died when the earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the AP reported.

Many others on the world's highest mountain were reported missing.

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Nepalese government declares state of emergency.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

"The priority now is rescue operations," Krishna Prasad, deputy chief of mission at Nepal's Embassy in New Delhi, told BuzzFeed News.

Prasad said over 500 people have been confirmed dead but that number is likely to rise.

Asked if those who lost their homes will have to sleep outside tonight, Prasad said: "Yes, that's possibly the case."

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Scott Faiia, country director at Oxfam Nepal, described the situation on the ground.

Our country director in Nepal: "Communication is very difficult.The water is also cut off & the number of people killed continues to rise.

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The quake is said to have caused a major avalanche on Mount Everest, raising fears for the well-being of climbers and local villagers.

Tashi Sherpa / AP

File Photo. April 11, 2015.

Mountaineer Alex Gavan, who was on Mount Everest when the avalanche struck, said he ran for his life.

Everest base camp huge earthquaqe then huge avalanche from pumori.Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain.

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Nepalese officials said on Saturday the death toll is expected to rise dramatically.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

"Hundreds of people are feared dead and there are reports of widespread damage to property. The devastation is not confined to some areas of Nepal. Almost the entire country has been hit," Krishna Prasad Dhakal, deputy chief of mission at Nepal's Embassy in New Delhi, told Reuters.

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An earthquake measuring 7.8 in magnitude struck central Nepal on Saturday morning, killing hundreds of people, Reuters reported.

The quake has been deemed the most powerful to hit the Himalayan nation in decades, Reuters reported.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP

The quake's epicenter was in an area between the country's capital, Kathmandu, and the city of Pokhara, the BBC reported. Many people have been reported injured.

rescue of an injured in front of singhadurbar #earthquake #kathmandu #nepal

Ancient temples and towers in the capital, Kathmandu, are reported to have completely collapsed.

Some more images from the earthquake in Nepal #tweetingliveasithappens

The quake also hit parts of northern India. Prime Minister Narenda Modi said Indian officials are working with their Nepalese counterparts to coordinate rescue operations.

We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal.

Nepalese authorities have advised people to not venture outside until further notice because more tremors are expected, AP reported.

Nepalese rescue teams are now in the worst-hit areas assisting the injured.

Niranjan Shrestha / AP
Niranjan Shrestha / AP

This is a developing story. Please check back here and at BuzzFeed News on Twitter for updates.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.