Kathmandu, Apr 25, 2015(Agencies): The death toll from a powerful quake that struck Nepal on Saturday has risen to 449, most of it in the Kathmandu Valley, police said.The quake measuring 7.9 is the strongest to hit the country in 81 years."The number of dead so far is 449," police deputy inspector general Kamal Singh Bam said, reported Reuters. Earlier reports said, hundreds had been killed after a powerful earthquake measuring 7.9 on Richter scale struck Nepal today destroying several buildings including a UNESCO World Heritage site and the centuries-old Dharhara tower in the heart of the capital trapping scores of people. The earthquake with epicentre at Lamjung, around 80 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, had its impact in several cities in Bihar and West Bengal and eastern India. It was also felt in China and as far as Pakistan and Bangladesh. The quake measured 7.9, the US Geological Survey said. A number of aftershocks were felt for a long time. Witnesses and media reports said the quake tremors lasted between 30 seconds and two minutes. Several buildings in the densely-populated Kathmandu Valley collapsed killing more than 70 people, a home ministry official said. Kathmandu's Darbar Square, a

UNESCO World Heritage site, was completely damaged in the quake. The official said so far more than 150 people have been reported killed. The earthquake first struck around 11:56 am followed by aftershocks, Nepal Police spokesperson Kamal Singh Ban said. "There are some casualties in Pokhra. In Gorkha district 10-12 people have been killed," he said. There is a breakdown in communication. "We are collecting information and mobilising forces for evacuation," he said. Indian Embassy spokesperson Abhay Kumar said some walls have collapsed in the impact of the major earthquake and the embassy has set up two helplines. I see many old walls have fallen because it was a major earthquake. And aftershocks of the earthquake that are pretty strong were still being felt. People are still outside," he said. The landmark Dharhara tower in the centre of the capital collapsed and several people are feared trapped.Nepal's Kantipur TV showed at least 21 bodies lined up on ground after the earthquake. Doctors at the main civil hospital here said 36 bodies have arrived so far after quake. Television pictures showed some of the rescued being rushed to hospitals. Reports said that the quake also caused an avalanche on Mount Everest.
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