At least 300 killed by earthquake in Nepal
7.9-magnitude quake hits Himalayan nation, causing tremors in northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

At least 300 have been killed in Nepal after the Himalayan nation was hit by a powerful earthquake Saturday, the government said.

The figure, reported in a Ministry of Home Affairs radio bulletin, is expected to rise as victims are dug out from under collapsed buildings.

The Hindustan Times in neighboring India reported that a further 20 people had died in northern and eastern parts of India.

The 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck 80 kilometers northwest of capital Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but the tremors were felt as far away at New Delhi, Dhaka and Pakistan’s Punjab region.

Buildings were destroyed and roads ruptured in Nepal while telephone and Internet communication was severely disrupted.

There have been 14 aftershocks, all above 4.5-magnitude, since the original earthquake.

Images shared on social media showed the scale of the devastation.

"Most new high rises in #Kathmandu ok, old buildings down. Temples reduced to rubble," Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times newspaper, posted on Twitter. "Aftershocks were major jolts almost as severe as the main quake."

The historic 62-meter tall Dharahara tower in central Kathmandu was brought crashing down by the quake, with scores of people believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reacted to the news on Twitter: "We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home & in Nepal."

NDTV reported that India has sent its first plane carrying four tons of aid to Nepal.

Last Modified: 2015-04-25 12:45:15
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