The quake that killed in four countries: At least 1,300 people dead after monster 7.8 tremor flattens Nepalese capital of Kathmandu 

  • A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal today causing massive damage in the capital Kathmandu
  • Officials reported at least 1,341 dead and warned the toll could rise as rescue teams are still searching for survivors
  • The effects were felt in neighbouring countries with at least 36 dead in India, 12 in Tibet and four in Bangladesh 
  • Quake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest killing eight people and injuring at least 30 climbers

Britain has deployed a team of humanitarian experts to Nepal after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped across the region, killing more than 1,300 people in four countries.

The eight-strong team will provide urgent humanitarian support for people affected by the disaster, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced tonight.

Disaster response specialists, including experts in search and rescue, will travel to Nepal overnight where they will assess the scale of the damage caused by the quake, which destroyed homes, businesses and temples in the capital of Kathmandu.

The earthquake also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest killing eight people and injuring at least 30 climbers. There are also a number of climbers still missing, including a number of Britons.

Scroll down for video 

Sebastian Lovera, 22, from Tonbridge, Kent
Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Unaccounted for: Britons Sebastian Lovera, 22, from Tonbridge, Kent, and Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

A man buried up to his shoulders in rubble is rescued from the remains of a destroyed building in Kathmandu, Nepal, after the earthquake

A man buried up to his shoulders in rubble is rescued from the remains of a destroyed building in Kathmandu, Nepal, after the earthquake

Locals rescued the dust-covered man, pulling him up on the the street as they work to find and rescue any survivors of the disaster
People free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building

Locals rescued two more dust-covered men, pulling them up on the the street as they work to find and rescue any survivors of the disaster

Effects of the quake were felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries with 36 killed in India, 12 in Tibet and 4 in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border

Effects of the quake were felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries with 36 killed in India, 12 in Tibet and 4 in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border

Two men stand on top of the remains of a building destroyed by the earthquake as a collapsed telephone pole teeters in the rubble nearby

Two men stand on top of the remains of a building destroyed by the earthquake as a collapsed telephone pole teeters in the rubble nearby

Men carry an injured person through the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal after a  7.8 magnitude earthquake caused massive damage in the city

Men carry an injured person through the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused massive damage in the city

Scared that  tremors might destroy their homes overnight, residents of Kathmandu set up camp on the central reservation of a major road

Scared that tremors might destroy their homes overnight, residents of Kathmandu set up camp on the central reservation of a major road

A man is buried up to his neck in rubble as the rescue teams attempt to dig him free from the collapsed building in the capital of Nepal

A man is buried up to his neck in rubble as the rescue teams attempt to dig him free from the collapsed building in the capital of Nepal

People search for survivors stuck under the rubble of a destroyed building, after the earthquake caused serious damage in the capital 

People search for survivors stuck under the rubble of a destroyed building, after the earthquake caused serious damage in the capital 

A woman cries after she finds out her son was trapped inside a house which collapsed in the Nepal earthquake which also sparked a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest

A woman cries after she finds out her son was trapped inside a house which collapsed in the Nepal earthquake which also sparked a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest

Among those listed on Google Person Finder is Sebastian Lovera, a 22-year-old qualified skiing and diving instructor, from Tonbridge, Kent. His last known location was Khumjung on Tuesday, from where he was heading towards Everest Base Camp.

His step-father, Greg Smye-Rumsby, said: 'Sebastian is an extremely lively and self-motivating person and that is why he went to Napal.

'We haven't heard from him. He would not have switched his phone off. We have tried ringing it. Sometimes it rings and sometimes we get an answer but it's an automated answer. It says the phone is switched off. He's certainly not a person to take risks. He's the absolute opposite.' 

Another Briton feared missing is Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. She is described by a friend as a 'glowing lovely beautiful young girl often dressed in hippy type clothing'.

Miss Wood, who has a strong northern accent, has been trekking in the Himalayas without any means of making contact. 

Officials today confirmed that at least 1,341 people have died as rescue teams continue to search for survivors who are feared to be trapped under rubble. The death toll is expected to rise. 

10 MOST POWERFUL EARTHQUAKES

  1. Chile, 22 May 1960, magnitude 9.5 The earthquake killed approximately 1,655, injured 3,000 and left 2million homeless
  2. Alaska, U.S., 28 March 1964, magnitude 9.2 This great earthquake and ensuing tsunami took 131 lives
  3. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, 26 December 2004, 9.1 magnitude In total, 227,898 people were killed or were missing and presumed dead in the Boxing Day tsunami
  4. Honshu, Japan, 11 March 2011, 9.0 magnitude More than 15,700 people were killed and at least 332,395 buildings were destroyed
  5. Kamchatka, Russia, 4 November 1952, 9.0 magnitude, The earthquake produced tsunamis in Japan and Alaska
  6. Maule, Chile, 27 February 2010, 8.8 magnitude At least 523 people lost their lives
  7. Ecuador, 31 January 1906, 8.8 magnitude Generated a tsunami that struck Colombia and Ecuador, killing up to 1500 people
  8. Rat Islands, Alaska, 4 November 1965, 8.7 magnitude Property was destroyed
  9. Northern Sumatra, Indonesia, 28 March 2005, 8.6 magnitude At least 1,000 killed
  10. Tibet, 15 August 1950, 8.6 magnitude At least 780 people killed

Source: U.S. Geological Survey. Data from 1990 onwards

Effects of the quake were felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries with 36 killed in India, 12 in Tibet and 4 in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border.

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, who was working in a number of orphanages around the country, is also feared to be among those killed. 

A spokeswoman for Intrepid Travel - which arranges treks in Nepal and around the Everest region - confirmed they had groups with British travellers in the area and said they are still attempting to contact those tours.

The earthquake has also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest killing 18 and injuring at least 30. Several groups of climbers were also said to be trapped at base camp which was severely damaged.

Panicked residents had rushed into the streets as the tremor erupted with the impact felt hundreds of miles away in big swathes of northern India and even in Bangladesh. 

Video footage showed people digging through the rubble of the bricks from the collapsed tower, looking for survivors. 

Nepal’s capital Kathmandu – with a population of over one million – was one of the worst-hit areas in Nepal, with the quake’s epicentre just 50 miles north of the city. As the tremors intensified, people were seen in scenes of mayhem running from their homes and places of work in panic.

Dozens of people were gathered in the car park of Kathmandu's Norvic International Hospital, where thin mattresses had been spread on the ground for patients rushed outside, some patients wearing hospital pyjamas, while doctors and nurses were treating people. 

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes. The 7.8 magnitude tremor was the worst to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years.

Television footage showed a huge swathe of houses had collapsed in while roads had been split in two by the force of the impact.

India was first to respond to Nepal's appeal for help by sending in military aircraft with medical equipment and relief teams. 

Britain has deployed a team of humanitarian experts to Nepal to provide urgent support for people affected by the quake, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced tonight. 

Ms Greening said: 'My thoughts are with the people of Nepal, in particular all those who have lost loved ones. 

'The absolute priority must be to reach people who are trapped and injured, and provide shelter and protection to those who have lost their homes.

'Nepal needs our urgent humanitarian assistance. That is why we have rapidly deployed a team of humanitarian experts who will immediately begin work assessing the damage and helping the Nepalese authorities respond to this devastating earthquake.'

It came after Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that the UK would do all it can to help in the aftermath on the Nepal earthquake.

On Twitter he said: 'Shocking news about the earthquake in Nepal - the UK will do all we can to help those caught up in it.' 

Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, added his condolences and said the British Embassy was providing help to any UK nationals caught up in the disaster.

'My thoughts are with the people of Nepal and everyone affected by the terrible loss of life and widespread damage caused by the earthquake,' he said.

'We are in close contact with the Nepalese government. The British Embassy in Nepal is offering our assistance to the authorities and is providing consular assistance to British Nationals.'  

Nepalese rescue teams remove a body from the rubble of the historic 19th century Darahara Tower in Kathmandu which collapsed in the quake

Nepalese rescue teams remove a body from the rubble of the historic 19th century Darahara Tower in Kathmandu which collapsed in the quake

People search for survivors in the rubble of a destroyed building after the earthquake hit Nepal and surrounding countries at just after 6am GBT time

People search for survivors in the rubble of a destroyed building after the earthquake hit Nepal and surrounding countries at just after 6am GBT time

People carry a woman from the rubble of a destroyed building while locals and rescue teams continue to search for more survivors of the earthquake

People carry a woman from the rubble of a destroyed building while locals and rescue teams continue to search for more survivors of the earthquake

Labour leader Ed Miliband also expressed his sympathy for all those involved, tweeting: 'The awful scenes in Nepal are heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to the people affected, and to those caring for survivors.' 

Vim Tamang, a resident of Manglung village near the epicentre, said: 'Our village has been almost wiped out. Most of the houses are either buried by landslide or damaged by shaking.'All the villagers have gathered in the open area. We don't know what to do. We are feeling helpless.'

A terrified Kathmandu resident said: 'Everything started shaking. Everything fell down. The walls around the main road have collapsed. The national stadiums gates have collapsed,' Kathmandu resident Anupa Shrestha said. 

Indian tourist Devyani Pant was in a Kathmandu coffee shop with friends when 'suddenly the tables started trembling and paintings on the wall fell on the ground.

'I screamed and rushed outside,' she told Reuters by telephone from the capital, where at least 300 people died.

'We are now collecting bodies and rushing the injured to the ambulance. We are being forced to pile several bodies one above the other to fit them in.'

The earthquake had an epicentre 80 kilometres north-west of Kathmandu,according to United States Geological Survey and strong tremors were also felt in large areas of northern and eastern India and Bangladesh

The earthquake had an epicentre 80 kilometres north-west of Kathmandu,according to United States Geological Survey and strong tremors were also felt in large areas of northern and eastern India and Bangladesh

A man comforts a woman next to a seriously injured person on the ground in the aftermath of the disaster which is thought to have killed at least two 

A man comforts a woman next to a seriously injured person on the ground in the aftermath of the disaster which is thought to have killed at least two 

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes

Pushpa Das, a labourer, ran from the house when the first quake struck but could not escape a collapsing wall that injured his arm.

'It was very scary. The earth was moving ... I am waiting for treatment but the (hospital) staff is overwhelmed,' he said.

'The walls of houses have collapsed around me onto the road. All the families are outside in their yards huddled together. The tremors are still going on,' an AFP reporter added.

Government emergency workers are reportedly already on the scene in the most damaged areas while Save the Children teams on the ground are coordinating an emergency response.

Oxfam is also lending its support to the rescue effort with teams in Nepal already assessing the humanitarian need and a team of technical experts preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies. 

And Christian Aid has made an initial £50,000 available to help victims. 

Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan International UK, who is in eastern Nepal on a scheduled visit, said she was on the top floor of a building when it started to 'shake violently'.

AUSTRALIAN GIRL FEARED AMONG THOSE KILLED IN THE DEVASTATING NEPALESE EARTHQUAKE 

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was working in orphanages in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit.

Her family launched a desperate search to find her, posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information. 

Ms Forder's sister, Amanda-Sue Markham, shared a number of pictures on Twitter and made a plea for help. 

'My sister at centre of earthquake was working in a baby's orphanage,' she said.

'Last heard of nine hours ago. If you know how to pray, please do so for the safety of my sister.'

Another sister, Priscilla-Anne Forder said the family was desperate for news.

'She's been in Kathmandu and Pokhara but we don't know where exactly she is right now,' Ms Forder told News Corp Australia.

'The family is sitting around the computer trying to get in touch and just looking for information.

'She's been over there working at baby orphanages for seven weeks. She gave everything up to over there and help the kids,' 

Ms Forder was due home in Australia at the end of May.

It is believed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will make a statement on other Australians potentially caught in the disaster once more detailed information is available. 

Her family launched a desperate search to find Ms Ballantyne, pictured at one of the orphanages she was working at in Nepal, at posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information

Her family launched a desperate search to find Ms Ballantyne, pictured at one of the orphanages she was working at in Nepal, at posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information

She added: 'It was very scary. Our colleagues advised us that the quake felt much stronger than usual.

'We are safe and now we are working with our colleagues to respond. There are crowds of people on the streets here and the hospitals are already overwhelmed. Our immediate priorities are to assist the emergency services with search and rescue and to establish shelter.'

A spokeswoman for Intrepid Travel, which arranges treks in Nepal and around the Everest region, said Britons were among their passengers in the area, but would not confirm how many.

Chloe Berman said: 'We are currently working with our local operations team to contact our groups in the area, and confirm that all passengers, leaders and local ground staff are safe and accounted for.

'Communications in the region is currently limited. There has been significant damage to infrastructure. Most phone lines are down and mobile coverage is limited.'

Several buildings collapsed in the centre of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, including centuries-old temples and towers, said resident Prachanda Sual. 

Volunteers help remove a huge pile of debris from what used to be a building in Durbar Square before the quake which caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

Volunteers help remove a huge pile of debris from what used to be a building in Durbar Square before the quake which caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

Huge teams of locals and volunteers help to heave away huge pieces of debris from homes, business and offices left by the earthquake

Huge teams of locals and volunteers help to heave away huge pieces of debris from homes, business and offices left by the earthquake

People survey a site damaged by an earthquake which caused buildings to collapse, injuring many and leaving a pall of dust over the city, witnesses said

People survey a site damaged by an earthquake which caused buildings to collapse, injuring many and leaving a pall of dust over the city, witnesses said

Teams have been working non-stop since the earthquake devastated the city of Kathmandu at midday local time (just after 6am GBT) 

Teams have been working non-stop since the earthquake devastated the city of Kathmandu at midday local time (just after 6am GBT) 

People work to rescue trapped people inside a temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square after the major earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal

People work to rescue trapped people inside a temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square after the major earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal

Crowds gather round the temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square which was badly damaged but has managed to stay mostly upstanding after the tremor

Crowds gather round the temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square which was badly damaged but has managed to stay mostly upstanding after the tremor

People clear rubble in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the natural disaster

People clear rubble in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the natural disaster

People walk past a building that was almost completely gutted by the powerful quake in Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley

People walk past a building that was almost completely gutted by the powerful quake in Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley

People survey a site damaged by the shallow earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing more than 100 people, injuring hundreds and leaving a pall over the valley, doctors and witnesses said

People survey a site damaged by the shallow earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing more than 100 people, injuring hundreds and leaving a pall over the valley, doctors and witnesses said

Rescue workers carry away a victim of the a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Kathmandu and teams work to try and find survivors in the rubble

Rescue workers carry away a victim of the a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Kathmandu and teams work to try and find survivors in the rubble

Volunteers carry someone who was in a building when it collapsed in the powerful earthquake which was felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries

Volunteers carry someone who was in a building when it collapsed in the powerful earthquake which was felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries

A man stands beside the blood of a victim after an earthquake which killed several hundreds of people in Nepal and injured many others

A man stands beside the blood of a victim after an earthquake which killed several hundreds of people in Nepal and injured many others

Among them was the Dharahara Tower, one of the city's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers in the 1800s and a Unesco-recognised historical monument.

There were reports of that a body was removed from the tower and a second lay further up the road after it was reduced to rubble. Teams have rescued many more from the ruins. It was not immediately clear how many people were in the multi-storey tower when it collapsed.

GOOGLE RELAUNCH 'PERSON FINDER' IN AFTERMATH OF DISASTER 

Google have relaunched their 'person finder' tool to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.

The tool is a searchable, online database to help people track down their loved ones who are involved in the disaster.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which killed hundreds and destroyed homes, also damaged communications in the region.

Person Finder collates information from emergency responders and individuals who post details about relatives missing or found.

Within hours of the disaster, 200 names had been uploaded.

The tool was first launched in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and has been used in several major disasters ever since including the 2011 Japanese tsunami and 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

'Our focus is on rescue in the core areas of Kathmandu where the population is concentrated,' Dinesh Acharya, metropolitan police spokesman, said.

'Many houses and buildings have collapsed. We don't know if there have been fatalities yet.'

Old Kathmandu city is a warren of tightly-packed, narrow lanes with poorly-constructed homes piled on top of each other which were vulnerable to collapse.

Residents reported seeing trails of destruction - collapsed walls, broken windows and fallen telephone poles - as they drove through the capital, along with streets filled with terrified people. 

'It's too early to make any assessment but the damage isn't as bad as it could have been,' said Liz Satow, the Nepal director for the air group World Vision who drove from Kathmandu to the nearby town of Lalitpur and added that while there was considerable damage, most buildings were still intact.

A state broadcaster for China that said at least two Chinese tourists had also died at the Nepal-China border.

The powerful earthquake also created an avalanche which swept the face of Mt. Everest killing eight and injuring at least 30 climbers attempting the world's highest peak - with April the most popular month to attempt the summit 

It struck between the Khumbu Icefall, a rugged area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The disaster has sparked fears for climbers on the world's highest peak a year after another avalanche caused the deadliest incident on the mountain.

Carsten Lillelund Pedersen, a Dane who is climbing the Everest with a Belgian climber Jelle Veyt, said on his Facebook page that they were at Khumbu Icefall at altitude 16,500ft when the earthquake hit.

He wrote on Facebook that they have started to receive the injured, including one person with the most severe injuries who sustained many fractures.

Romanian climber Alex Gavan said on Twitter that there had been a 'huge avalanche' and 'many, many' people were up on the mountain.

A couple of earthquake victims are helped by a rescuer in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the earthquake

A couple of earthquake victims are helped by a rescuer in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the earthquake

Locals who live in Kathmandu are in shock after losing their homes and, for some, their loved ones in the earthquake

Locals who live in Kathmandu are in shock after losing their homes and, for some, their loved ones in the earthquake

A man stands in front of a building that collapsed at Durbar Square, after an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Saturday, April 25, 2015. A strong magnitude-7.9 earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday, causing extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings, officials said. (AP Photo/ Niranjan Shrestha)

A man stands in front of a building that collapsed at Durbar Square in Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley

Rescue teams carry a body away from the rubble of the Darahara Tower in Kathmandu who was killed when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck

Rescue teams carry a body away from the rubble of the Darahara Tower in Kathmandu who was killed when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck

Before and after: The Dharahara Tower, one of Kathmandu's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers in the 1800s was reduced to rubble with reports of people trapped underneath
Before and after: The Dharahara Tower, one of Kathmandu's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers in the 1800s was reduced to rubble with reports of people trapped underneath

Before and after: The Dharahara Tower, one of Kathmandu's landmarks built by Nepal's royal rulers in the 1800s was reduced to rubble with reports of people trapped underneath

Rescuers remove debris at the  tower, a city landmark, after the quake which had an epicentre was 50 miles north-west of Kathmandu and it had a depth of only seven miles, which is considered shallow in geological terms

Rescuers remove debris at the tower, a city landmark, after the quake which had an epicentre was 50 miles north-west of Kathmandu and it had a depth of only seven miles, which is considered shallow in geological terms

People inspect the damage of the collapsed landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, after an earthquake caused serious damage in the city

People inspect the damage of the collapsed landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower, after an earthquake caused serious damage in the city

A car is hit by an electric pole after it collapsed following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours

A car is hit by an electric pole after it collapsed following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal. A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour later, and smaller aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours

'Running for life from my tent,' Gavan said. 'Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche.'

Another climber, Daniel Mazur, said Everest base camp had been 'severely damaged' and his team was trapped.

'Please pray for everyone,' he said on his Twitter page.

An avalanche in April 2014 just above the base camp on Mount Everest killed 16 Nepali guides. April is one of the most popular times to climb Everest before rain and clouds cloak the mountain at the end of next month.

Some 230,000 people - nearly half of Nepal's yearly foreign visitors - come to trek the Himalayas, with 810 attempting to scale Mt. Everest in 2013.

Initially measured at 7.5 magnitude, the quake was later adjusted to 7.9, with a depth of 15 kilometres, the USGS said. The US Geological Survey then lowered it to 7.8.

Emergency rescue workers find an injured survivor in the debris of Dharara Tower after it collapsed at noon local time in Kathmandu

Emergency rescue workers find an injured survivor in the debris of Dharara Tower after it collapsed at noon local time in Kathmandu

Emergency rescue workers carry out another victim of the collapse of the Dharara Tower, a historic 19th century monument, on a stretcher

Emergency rescue workers carry out another victim of the collapse of the Dharara Tower, a historic 19th century monument, on a stretcher

Injured people receive treatment outside Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, after a strong magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal's capital

Injured people receive treatment outside Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, after a strong magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook Nepal's capital

A child is one of many who have sought treatment outside Medicare Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal after hundreds were injured in the natural disaster

Patients wait at the car park of Norvic International Hospital waiting for treatment after an earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal

Patients wait at the car park of Norvic International Hospital waiting for treatment after an earthquake hit Kathmandu, Nepal

An injured boy is taken to a ward inside a hospital after the earthquake was felt as far as Siliguri, in northern India

An injured boy is taken to a ward inside a hospital after the earthquake was felt as far as Siliguri, in northern India

The youngster appears to have broken his leg in the disaster which killed at least 34 in India and is thought to have injured many more 

The youngster appears to have broken his leg in the disaster which killed at least 34 in India and is thought to have injured many more 

The tremor was felt as far as India which reported 34 deaths. In Silguri, an injured young victim of the quake undergoes treatment in hospital

The tremor was felt as far as India which reported 34 deaths. In Silguri, an injured young victim of the quake undergoes treatment in hospital

It hit 68 kilometres east of the tourist town of Pokhara. Witnesses and media reports said the quake tremors lasted between 30 seconds and two minutes.

WHAT HAPPENED? AND WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? 

Seismologist Earle said the quake happened on what is known as a 'thrust fault.' That describes the situation when one piece of the Earth's crust is moving beneath another piece.

In this case, it's the Indian plate that is moving north at 45 millimeters (1.7 inches) a year under the Eurasian plate to the north, Earle said. It's a different type of earthquake than the one that caused the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

'This is what builds the Himalayan mountain range,' Earle said.

The region and particular fault has a history of damaging earthquakes, including four temblors with magnitudes greater than 6.0 in the past 100 years, Earle said, warning that landslides are a particular worry now, given the steep slopes in the region.

The quake's epicentre was 50 miles north-west of Kathmandu and it had a depth of only seven miles, which is considered shallow in geological terms.

The shallower the quake, the more destructive power it carries, and witnesses said the trembling and swaying of the earth went on for several minutes.

National radio warned people to stay outdoors and maintain calm because more aftershocks were feared.

A 6.6-magnitude aftershock hit about an hour after the initial quake. But smaller aftershocks continued to arrive every few minutes and residents reported of the ground feeling unstable.

People gathered outside Kathmandu's Norvic International Hospital where doctors and nurses had hooked up some patients to IV drops in the car park or were giving people oxygen. 

A Swedish woman, Jenny Adhikari, who lives in Nepal, told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that she was riding a bus in the town of Melamchi when the earth began to move.

'A huge stone crashed only about 20 metres from the bus,' she was quoted as saying.

'All the houses around me have tumbled down. I think there are lot of people who have died,' she told the newspaper by telephone. Melamchi is about 30 miles north-east of Kathmandu.  

The earthquake also shook several cities across northern India and was felt as far away as Lahore in Pakistan and Lhasa in Tibet, 340 miles east of Kathmandu and India's capital of New Delhi. The Indian cities of Lucknow in the north and Patna in the east also reported strong tremors.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a meeting of top government officials to review the damage and disaster preparedness in parts of India that felt strong tremors.

'We are in the process of finding more information and are working to reach out to those affected, both at home and in Nepal,' he said in a tweet.

In Siliguri, India, where at least two people including a woman were killed, the front of an earthquake-damaged house has become trapped in wiring and the branches of a tree

In Siliguri, India, where at least two people including a woman were killed, the front of an earthquake-damaged house has become trapped in wiring and the branches of a tree

Part of the house was only stopped from collapsing into the street by a tree in India where at least 34 were killed after the 7.8 magnitude tremor

Part of the house was only stopped from collapsing into the street by a tree in India where at least 34 were killed after the 7.8 magnitude tremor

The shallow earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people and demolishing buildings

The shallow earthquake measuring 7.8 magnitude struck west of the ancient Nepali capital of Kathmandu on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people and demolishing buildings

A collapsed house in Nyelam County in Shigatse, Tibet (left) while a man looks through the ruble of a similarly damaged building in Kathmandu
A collapsed house in Nyelam County in Shigatse, Tibet (left) while a man looks through the ruble of a similarly damaged building in Kathmandu

A collapsed house in Nyelam County in Shigatse, Tibet (left) while a man looks through the ruble of a similarly damaged building in Kathmandu

As well as leveling many of Kathmandu's homes and structures, the quake also left a dust pall over the valley, doctors and witnesses said

As well as leveling many of Kathmandu's homes and structures, the quake also left a dust pall over the valley, doctors and witnesses said

People search for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO sitem after an earthquake caused serious damage

People search for survivors under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu Durbar Square, a UNESCO sitem after an earthquake caused serious damage

Rescue teams and tractors clear the rubble of collapsed buildings, crumbled temples and broken walls in Kathmandu Durbar Square

Rescue teams and tractors clear the rubble of collapsed buildings, crumbled temples and broken walls in Kathmandu Durbar Square

People clear rubble in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the earthquake

People clear rubble in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was severely damaged by the earthquake

A huge clean up and rescue effort is underway to find survivors of the tragedy 

A huge clean up and rescue effort is underway to find survivors of the tragedy and to try and clear away debris from the toppled walls and collapsed buildings

The Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim, which share a border with Nepal, have reported building damage. There have also been reports of damage in the north-eastern state of Assam.

The earthquake was also felt across large areas of Bangladesh, triggering panic in the capital Dhaka as people rushed out onto the streets.

In the garment manufacturing hub of Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, at least 50 workers were injured after the quake set off stampede in a garment factory, according to private Jamuna television. 

Laxman Singh Rathore, director-general of the Indian Meteorological Department said: 'The intensity was felt in entire north India. More intense shocks were felt in eastern UP (Uttar Pradesh) and Bihar, equally strong in sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim,' he said.

BRITISH MICHELIN-STARRED CHEF DROPS OUT OF MOUNT EVEREST ATTEMPT DAYS BEFORE KILLER AVALANCHE 

Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains dropped out of his Mount Everest attempt days before the avalanche

Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains dropped out of his Mount Everest attempt days before the avalanche

Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains was attempting to hold the world's highest dinner party on Mount Everest but was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with a life-threatening form of altitude sickness.

The 44-year-old, from Nottingham, had to be brought down the mountain and it took two days to get him to hospital in Kathmandu.

He was only discharged yesterday and was due to fly home this morning when the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the Nepalese capital killing hundreds and destroying homes.

Mr Bains, who owns the two Michelin-starred Sat Bains Restaurant, survived the disaster but was said to have 'no idea' how he would make it back to the UK.

His PR executive Elaine Spooner said: 'He's OK. At the moment he's in the hotel car park away from surrounding buildings.

'He was due to fly out today but have no idea what he'll do now. CNN are reporting deaths at Base Camp and Sat is desperate for news but cannot make contact.'

Mr Bains had spent months training and devising a three-course meal for the world's highest black tie dinner party at 7,100m on Everest's North Ridge.

The team left Base Camp on Monday but expedition medics noted and monitored a stitch that Bains developed during a practice trek at 5,300m.

After symptoms worsened he was diagnosed with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema and taken down the mountain leaving the rest of his team with the freeze-dried food and cooking instructions in the hope that the dinner party will still take place next week in his absence.

But this morning an avalanche triggered by the earthquake swept down the mountain killing at least ten and injuring 30.

One team member Ted Atkins had tweeted before the avalanche:  'The party goes on in his honour, he will be there with us, if in pre-packaged bags of amazement.

'I know I usually lose my appetite at altitude - not this time I think.'

It is not yet known whether his team were amongst those killed.

Yesterday Sat had tweeted: 'Thank you all for get well wishes, got all clear to fly today so back home asap. My thoughts are with the rest of my team. Good luck.xx

'There is a bitter disappointment I didn't get there but I have gained so much over the past three weeks.'   

Rathore that a second tremor of a 6.6 magnitude had been recorded around 20 minutes later and centred around the same region.

'Since it is a big earthquake, there are aftershocks and people should stay cautious,' he said.

'The damage potential of any earthquake above seven magnitude is high. The duration of the earthquake tremors was different at different places. It was around 50-55 seconds long in Delhi.' 

A 6.9-magnitude quake hit northeastern India in 2011, rocking neighbouring Nepal and killing 110 people. 

Nepal suffered its worst recorded earthquake in 1934, which measured eight and all but destroyed the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.

Students gathered outside their school buildings in India after the Nepalese earthquake hit Lucknow, in India at 0622 GMT 

Students gathered outside their school buildings in India after the Nepalese earthquake hit Lucknow, in India at 0622 GMT 

Local people in Gyirong County of Xigaze Prefectur  in China take refuge at an open area after tremors from the Nepal earthquake hit

Local people in Gyirong County of Xigaze Prefectur  in China take refuge at an open area after tremors from the Nepal earthquake hit

A man carries a dog and as he walks past the rubble of a building which was destroyed by the disaster which hit at midday in the densely populated Kathmandu Valley

A man carries a dog and as he walks past the rubble of a building which was destroyed by the disaster which hit at midday in the densely populated Kathmandu Valley

Mothers hold their children close as they sit and wait outside a school after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara in Nepal, about half-way between the town and the capital Kathmandu

Mothers hold their children close as they sit and wait outside a school after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck 80 km (50 miles) east of Pokhara in Nepal, about half-way between the town and the capital Kathmandu

Panicked locals gathered outside in the street after the earthqauke which is thought to have killed two and caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

Panicked locals gathered outside in the street after the earthqauke which is thought to have killed two and caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

People pray for their loved ones and for assistance after the devastating earthquake ripped through Kathmandu this morning

People pray for their loved ones and for assistance after the devastating earthquake ripped through Kathmandu this morning

Locals in Bhopal, India people gathered in the relative safety of open spaces after the  earthquake which killed hundreds in Nepal and at least 20 India

Locals in Bhopal, India people gathered in the relative safety of open spaces after the earthquake which killed hundreds in Nepal and at least 20 India

Large crowds on the streets in a public square in India after the effects of the tremors were felt hundreds of miles away in Bhopal

Large crowds on the streets in a public square in India after the effects of the tremors were felt hundreds of miles away in Bhopal

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now