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Strong Aftershock Hits Nepal As Quake Toll Mounts


Nepal -- After an earthquake hit, Kathmandu, Nepal, April 25, 2015

A powerful aftershock struck Nepal as the death toll from a devastating earthquake approached 2,000 and rescuers dug through rubble in search of survivors and the dead.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the magnitude 6.7 aftershock was centered northeast of the badly damaged capital, Kathmandu, near the border with China.

The USGS said it struck at a very shallow depth of 10 kilometers and that damage was very likely within a radius of 50 kilometers.

The ground trembled and people shouted and ran for open areas to escape injury.

It was the strongest of a number of aftershocks that followed the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the densely populated Kathmandu Valley on April 25.

The death toll rose above 1,900 on April 26 as the rescue operation got into full swing, with workers sending out tents and relief supplies in trucks and helicopters.

Seventeen bodies were recovered at the base camp on Mount Everest, where hundreds of climbers were stranded.

Across Nepal, tens of thousands of people spent the night in the open, too afraid to return to homes damaged in the quake.

People used their hands in many places to dig for survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Several buildings in the center of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, were destroyed, including centuries-old temples and towers.

The United Nations said hospitals were overcrowded, running out of room for storing dead bodies and running out of emergency supplies.

Aid groups said they were readying staff to go to Nepal with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation, and emergency food.

The United States, Britain, and Pakistan were among countries providing search-and-rescue experts.

But rescue operations had still not begun in towns in some remote areas of the mountain country.

The earthquake, centered eight kilometers east of the city of Pokhara, was particularly destructive because it was shallow.

The quake was felt in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China's Tibet region.

It killed at least 60 people outside Nepal.

More than 1,000 climbers were on Mount Everest at the start of their season when the quake struck, sending an avalanche down on part of the base camp.

Climber Jim Davidson said on Twitter that the aftershock was "smaller than [the] original quake" but caused a glacier to shake and set off avalanches.

Nepal, located between India and China, has had its share of natural disasters. Its worst earthquake, in 1934, killed more than 8,500 people.

With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, CNN, and BBC
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