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2 hours ago

Hundreds Dead After 7.9-Magnitude Quake Hits Nepal

A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing hundreds, destroying homes and ancient temples, and triggering at least one avalanche on Mount Everest, NBC News reported. At least 597 people have been killed, said Minendra Rija, the country's minister of information and communications. "That number may rise," he cautioned. The quake struck just before noon local time (2:15 a.m. ET) about 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu and is the worst to hit the Himalayan nation in nearly a century. Some 30 people died in neighboring countries where the quake was felt, including 20 in India, The Associated Press reported. Reuters said that the death toll could be as high as 688, quoting a senior home ministry source. Climbers on Mount Everest were sent running for their lives when the earthquake set off at least one avalanche. At least eight people died and more than two dozen were injured in the avalanche on the world's highest mountain, according to the AP. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. First reported by the USGS as a 7.5, then a 7.9, the quake spawned a powerful 6.6-magnitude aftershock and triggered deadly tremors in India and Pakistan. Read »
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It was a sound like thunder.... It was really shaking shaking shaking.  

— Shristi Mainali a 21-year-old nursing student in Kathmandu, Nepal, describing Saturday's 7.9-magnitude earthquake there.
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By Michael Rodio

PHOTOS: Deadly Earthquake Rocks Nepal

A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing hundreds... See Full Gallery »

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