A powerful earthquake has rocked Nepal, killing and injuring scores of people.
Many more are feared trapped under rubble, amid widespread scenes of devastation.
The death toll stood at more than 1,800 in Nepal, according to the Interior Minister at 03:39CET. A further 36 fatalities were reported in northern India, 12 in Chinese Tibet and four in Bangladesh.
The 7.9 magnitude quake – the strongest to hit Nepal in more than 80 years – struck just before noon local time.
Its epicentre was 80 kilometres east of the Himalayan nation’s second largest city Pokhara.
The quake was shallow at just two metres deep and that intensified its force.
Damage has been reported in neighbouring Indian states and Bangladesh – evidence of the power it unleashed.
The historic Dharahara Tower in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu has been reduced to a stump. Built in 1832, what was a 14-storey structure is now unrecognisable.
The quake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, which killed at least eight people as it swept through a base camp for climbers.
Hospitals in Kathmandu are being overwhelmed with the injured. Streets have become makeshift wards, as quake victims continue to pour in for treatment.
Nepal’s mountainous terrain is hampering search and rescue efforts, with many areas yet to be reached.
Communications are also poor, meaning it is too early to know the full scale of this disaster.
Kathmandu temples destroyed by earthquake. pic.twitter.com/CwvAZVsiER— Siobhan Heanue (@siobhanheanue) April 25, 2015
BASANTAPUR DURBAR SQUARE IS GONE!!! pic.twitter.com/HnauT0fDia— Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) April 25, 2015
EMERGENCY: 4 locals trapped in this rubble INSIDE PALTANGHAR in ASON. pic.twitter.com/15HZP4zbBL— Kashish Das Shrestha (@kashishds) April 25, 2015
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