KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Tens of thousands of people prepared to spend the night in the open under a chilly and thundery sky after a powerful earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday, killing more than 1,180 people, collapsing modern houses and centuries-old temples, and triggering a landslide on the slopes of Mount Everest. Officials said the death toll will rise as more reports from far-flung areas come in.
The magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which originated outside the capital Kathmandu, was the worst tremor to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years. It was so powerful that it was felt all across the northern part of neighboring India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan where a total of 50 people died. The death toll in Nepal was 1,130, but it is almost certain to rise, said deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam.
More than two dozen aftershocks jolted the area after the first quake, which struck just before noon. At the time, Shrish Vaidya, who runs an advertising agency, was in his two-story house outside the capital Kathmandu with his arents.
"It is hard to describe. The house was shaking like crazy. We ran out and it seemed like the road was heaving up and down," Vaidya, 46, told The Associated Press. "I don't remember anything like this before. Even my parents can't remember anything this bad."