Major earthquake hits Nepal for second time in two weeks
More than 40 people dead after buildings damaged in April finally collapse in another powerful quake
A second powerful earthquake has struck Nepal just two weeks after thousands of people died in another devastating quake.
More than 40 people died today and more than 1,000 were injured as many buildings damaged in the 25 April quake finally collapsed. The International Organisation for Migration said rescue teams were searching through the wreckage and rubble, while thousands of people were setting up tents to sleep in.
The epicentre was said to be close to the Chinese border, around 83km east of Kathmandu and 68km west of the town of Namche Bazar, close to Mount Everest. Shockwaves were felt as far away as Delhi in India.
The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.3 – marginally smaller than the 7.8-magnitude quake in April.
Reporting from Kathmandu, The Guardian's Carole Cadwalladr says there have been aftershocks almost every day for the last few weeks but this one felt immediately different. "It went on for what felt like a good couple of minutes... a bit like being on the sea," she says.
The tremor sent hundreds of people fleeing from office buildings and from Kathmandu airport onto the tarmac.
One 63-year-old, who was in a vegetable market in the capital earlier today, said: "It was very scary and very difficult to make my way out. The last time we had the big quake I ran out of my house and barely escaped. This one felt just like that one. I can't believe it's happening again."
Last month's earthquake was further west of Mount Everest, but triggered an avalanche that killed 18 climbers. This year's climbing season was subsequently called off, with some areas close to the mountain's base camp evacuated.
Jonathan Amos, science correspondent for the BBC, says: "By any stretch, a magnitude-7.3 quake is a big one. It's not quite as big as 25 April (7.8), which was 5.5 times more energetic – but a major tremor nonetheless."
"Since 25 April, the immediate analysis had suggested more activity on the fault was certainly possible because the previous event had not ruptured all the way to the surface."
Nepal earthquake: eight million affected by disaster
More than a quarter of Nepal's population is said to have been affected by Saturday's powerful earthquake, with appeals launched to help desperate survivors sleeping in makeshift camps.
The official death toll has risen to 4,400, with around 8,000 injured, but Prime Minister Sushil Koirala believes that the number could more than double as search and rescue teams reach remote areas cut off by avalanches and blocked roads.
The UN said eight million people were affected by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the central and western regions.
The capital Kathmandu is experiencing a "mass exodus" with buses and trucks "grossly overloaded" as they travel out of the city, says The Guardian. Frustrated foreign nationals are queuing for plane tickets, while some bus operators are raising fares and charging for "perilous" rooftop seats, reports the newspaper.
A lack of water, food and power is raising fears of disease, with many people still sleeping in the streets, terrified of more aftershocks. There have been more than a dozen aftershocks of magnitude five or higher, which are threatening to complicate rescue missions.
Numerous aid groups and more than 15 nations have been rushing aid and workers to the Himalayan country. Rescuers have been digging through rubble by hand to search for survivors, while medics are performing surgery in makeshift operating theatres.
The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) has said it will match donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) up to £5m. Funds are providing emergency shelter, food, clean water and blankets, as well as future support for communities to rebuild their lives once their immediate needs are met.
DEC's chief executive Saleh Saeed told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "entire villages have been wiped out". He acknowledged that after these type of disasters "there is a degree of chaos and confusion", but insisted that "aid is getting in".
IHS Asia Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas told CNN the earthquake could cost Nepal $5bn, described as a "huge hit" against its gross domestic product of $19.3bn last year.
Nepal earthquake: death toll rises as villages 'devastated'
More than 3,300 people are known to have died and more than 6,500 were injured after a powerful earthquake struck Nepal this weekend, triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest.
The epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which struck just before midday on Saturday, was in the Lamjung District, more than 100 miles north-west of Kathmandu. It was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a couple of 6.7-magnitude earthquakes.
Nepali authorities have been struggling to reach remote mountainous villages, but the first reports from aid groups today suggest that many communities have been "devastated", reports the Financial Times.
In Kathmandu Valley, the "majority" of people remained outside of their homes for a second night as aftershocks continued to shake the area, according to the UN. The capital has turned into a "tent city" with survivors setting up makeshift camps, although a shortage of tents meant others were forced to sleep outside, exposed to heavy rain.
With the water supply also damaged, aid workers have warned that cholera and other diseases could now "cost more lives" than the earthquake itself.
Hospitals in Kathmandu Valley are overcrowded and running out of emergency supplies and space to store corpses. The UN Children's Fund said that the number of children requiring help has exceeded 940,000, reports the New York Times.
In Gorkha, an area to the west of Kathmandu, 80 per cent of houses are said to have been destroyed, while many of the capital's historical sites have also been reduced to rubble.
Dramatic video footage has emerged online showing climbers hit by the avalanche at the Everest base camp (video contains strong language).
The UK government is providing £5m of humanitarian aid to Nepal, with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warning that some British nationals were "almost certainly" caught up in the earthquake.
Nearly 100 people included in the death toll were killed in the neighbouring countries of India and China.