A 7.9 magnitude Nepal earthquake left 1,700 injured and more than 1,100 confirmed dead. In addition to the initial quake, The U.S. Geological Survey recorded 15 powerful aftershocks. Although the numbers are already high, officials said the search for survivors has just begun.
According to witness reports, the quake was strong and "lasted a long time." Geosciences Professor David A. Rothery explains that the earthquake was specifically destructive because it was shallow -- with a depth of 9.3 miles. As shallow quakes originate near the surface, they cause more damage at ground level.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal Saturday morning, claiming 900 lives. How did it happen? http://t.co/W8dBHhucGrCNN reports journalist Kanak Masni was in Kathmandu when the Nepal earthquake struck. Masni said it was "the most massive earthquake to hit central Nepal since 1934."
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 25, 2015
The Kathmandu Valley was specifically vulnerable, as the buildings were not built to withstand earthquakes. With more than two million residents, the region is also densely populated.
As reported by MSN, entire villages were destroyed amid the Nepal earthquake. Resident Vim Tamang confirmed Manglung village was "almost wiped out," with a majority of its inhabitants reported missing or dead.
In addition to thousands of homes, the quake destroyed an alarming number of historical landmarks. Local officials confirmed several monuments and temples simply crumbled to the ground. However, the nine-story Dharahara Tower is a specific concern, as tourists were trapped inside when it collapsed.
Nepal Kathmandu's landmark 200 years old, Dharahara Tower collapsed from earthquake. Pray for Nepal! #SriLanka #LKA pic.twitter.com/zy8txNLHkSSherpa Ang Tshering confirmed the tremors triggered a massive avalanche on Mt. Everest. At least 30 climbers were injured and 18 were reported dead.
— Sri Lanka Tweet (@SriLankaTweet) April 25, 2015
Carsten Lillelund Pedersen, who witnessed the avalanche, said the number of injured and dead are expected to rise, as "a lot of people may have been buried in their tents."
#NepalEarthquake causes avalanche in Everest, at least 8 killed (photos via @rizalzulkapli) pic.twitter.com/yuVIS3LGxK http://t.co/3ExhCMkg19A spokesperson with the Nepal Police department confirmed the death toll has exceeded 1,000, with a majority of the victims in the Kathmandu Valley. As reported by The Guardian, at least 300 of victims were found in the capital city of Kathmandu alone.
— RT (@RT_com) April 25, 2015
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed authorities and rescue workers are "working to reach out to those affected" by the Nepal earthquake. Pakistan's Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has vowed to provide assistance in the search and rescue effort.
[Image via Omar Havana/Getty Images]