Fatalities were reported across Nepal, northern India, and Bangladesh. Search-and-rescue efforts are still in early stages, hampered by collapsed buildings and buckled roads, the death toll is expected to rise.
Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport has re-opened to receive emergency supplies, and India has already begun sending relief. Meanwhile, local emergency responders are excavating damaged buildings as quickly as they can, to free any survivors trapped or injured in the debris. Ordinary civilians are also working to help, freelance photographer Thomas Nybo told CNN from Kathmandu:
“A group of mainly tourists started gathering rocks, hammers and pickaxes and breaking through a re-enforced concrete wall to reach this guy…It took about two hours of smashing through wall and cutting rebar with a hacksaw to pull him out alive.”
Although the main hospitals in Kathmandu remain open, they are at full capacity, according to the Red Cross. Less is known about the fate of rural towns and villages outside of Kathmandu. “Roads have been damaged or blocked by landslides and communication lines are down preventing us from reaching local Red Cross branches to get accurate information,” says Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Director for Asia Pacific. “We anticipate that there will be considerable destruction and loss of life.”
Strong aftershocks, which often follow a major earthquake, are likely to pose an immediate threat to survivors in the area.