Nepal earthquake: Death toll rises above 3,000
At least 3,326 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake
which hit Nepal on Saturday, say officials.
More than 6,500 people have been injured, according to the National
Emergency Operation Centre.
Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring
China and India.
Thousands have spent a second night outside after the 7.8-magnitude
quake, which also triggered deadly avalanches around Mount Everest.
Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those
displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks
Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue
teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.
Initial reports suggest that many communities, especially those close to
mountainsides, suffered significant quake damage.
"Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it's not
uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be
completely buried by rock falls," Matt Darvas, spokesman for aid agency
World Vision said.
A man evacuated by helicopter to Pokhara, 200km from Kathmandu, said
almost every home in his village of more than 1,000 houses had been
destroyed, Mr Darvas told the BBC.
In Dhading district, 80km west of Kathmandu, people were camped in the
open, the hospital was overflowing, the power was off and shops were
closed, Reuters news agency reported.
A senior official in Gorkha district, the location of the earthquake's
epicentre, told AP he had heard reports of 70% of houses being
"Things are really bad in the district, especially in remote mountain
villages," Udav Prashad Timalsin said. "There are people who are not
getting food and shelter."
The roads to where the epicentre was, northwest of the capital, have
been cleared and rescue teams are on their way.
Rescue missions and aid are arriving in Nepal to help cope with the
aftermath of the earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal for more than 80
Efforts to dig victims out from under the rubble of collapsed buildings
in Kathmandu are also continuing.
But home ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told Reuters rescuers
were "in a really bad shape" after working non-stop for two days. "We
are all about to collapse."
A powerful aftershock was felt on Sunday in Nepal, India and Bangladesh,
and more avalanches were reported near Everest.
The 6.7-magnitude tremor, centred 60km (40 miles) east of Kathmandu,
sent people running in panic for open ground in the city.
It brought down some houses that had been damaged in the initial quake.
At hospitals rattled by the aftershocks, staff moved sick and injured
patients outside on Sunday afternoon.
The weather cleared on Monday morning and helicopters are heading out to
the Mount Everest base camp to try to bring down 210 stranded climbers.
Foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides around Mt Everest were caught
by the tremors and a huge avalanche that buried part of the base camp.
At least 18 people were killed and 60 more injured; others are still
Separately rescue workers have told the BBC that climbers stranded on
Everest have been unable to get down because climbing ropes and ladders
have been swept away by a series of avalanches.
Tourism Minister Deepak Chanda Amatya told the BBC that more than 50
climbers had been rescued.
At least four out of seven Unesco World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu
valley - three of them ancient city squares - were severely damaged.
Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit told the BBC that the destruction was
"culturally speaking an incalculable loss", although he said monuments
could be rebuilt.
In Bhaktapur, until now Nepal's best preserved old city, reports say
half of all homes have been destroyed and 80% of temples damaged.
Nepal's architectural jewels destroyed
There are 14 international medical teams on the way to Nepal, the UN
says, and up to 15 international search-and-rescue have been sent, the
Offers of help have come in from around the world. Some foreign teams
have already arrived and are helping with search and rescue efforts -
braving aftershocks at Kathmandu airport that forced some aircraft to
circle before landing.
The UN children's agency says nearly one million children in Nepal
urgently need humanitarian assistance as they were particularly
The country is running out of water and food, and there are frequent
power cuts, the UN says.
Heavy rain earlier on Saturday further worsened conditions with UN
officials expressing concern that thunderstorms that could harm people
staying outdoors and lead to a shortage of vaccines against disease
including diarrhoea and measles.
Two more earthquakes today
TWO MORE QUAKES were recorded off Caribbean islands today, bringing the
number to three in the region in less than 24 hours.
The latest occurred at 10:49 a.m. at a depth of 30km, or roughly 79km
east of Fort-de-France, Martinique and some 84 km north east of
Castries, Saint Lucia.
It measured 4.3 on the Richter scale.
The Seismic Research Centre of the University of the West Indies also
recorded a 3.8 magnitude quake at 5:02 a.m., 26km south southwest of
Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
These follow a 5.4 magnitude earthquake (below) off the coast of
Trinidad and Tobago last night. (SAT)
Earthquake off Haida Gwaii shakes up debate on B.C. tanker traffic
A magnitude 6.2 earthquake off the coast of Haida Gwaii has shaken up
the debate over possible impacts of an earthquake near the Northern
Gateway pipeline termination point or bitumen tankers in hostile open
Proposed shipping routes bring tankers close to the edge of the island
chain near the epicenter of this morning's quake, which registered
approximately 186 kilometres west-south-west of Bella Bella.
Bill Yovanovich of Skidegate, a community of 900 people on the west
coast of Haida Gwaii, was in bed when the earthquake struck. He said it
was "like a heavy wind" and although the damage was minimal it has
reignited fears of the potential to respond to a major spill in the
"It's a big concern," Yovanovich said in a telephone interview with the
"We're pretty remote up here and after watching how mishandled the
response to the English Bay spill has been it makes me wonder if all the
homework has been done."
Yovanovich said today's earthquake has brought back memories of a larger
7.7 magnitude earthquake that caused many to evacuate after warnings of
a possible tsunami brewing off the coast line in October of 2012.
Back then, Old Masset economic development officer John Disney said, the
experience was harrowing and not uncommon.
"We have the top two earthquake records in Canada now and really we take
it in stride. We have earthquakes here all the time."
Master Mariner Mal Walsh, a marine and oil expert with over 40 years of
experience in international oil exploration and shipping, noted in two
previous articles in The Vancouver Observer that while he does not
oppose pipelines, the tanker routes proposed by Enbridge present serious
risks to the B.C. coast.
"The Enbridge tanker transport proposal, in its current form, represents
too great a risk to a remote and still pristine area of BC’s Central
Coast, a region of this coast that is exposed to the most severe winter
weather conditions," Walsh wrote in July 2012.
Walsh's commentary did not mention earthquakes specifically but focused
on extreme weather in the Queen Charlotte Sound that could become a
serious threat to the coast in the event of a bitumen spill.
"Do we really think that the high level of shipping proposed would
operate without problems, year in and year out?" Walsh asked at the
"And this is not only considering the narrow channels of the port
approach, but even more critically in the open ocean of the offshore
approaches to the coast."
Kitimat, the exit point of Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline,
operates a port situated over 100 nautical miles from the open hostile
waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound and the Dixon Entrance.
Walsh said this can only be reached through "navigationally difficult
and narrow channels," and the shipping plan "clearly represents a
cheaper fix for the pipeline termination point for tar sands bitumen
export." He said this design shows "the lack of respect given to the
power of the sea and the vagaries of human error or mechanical
Requests for comment from Enbridge and the federal Ministry of
Environment received no response by publication time.
However, the MoE has stated in response to previous stories that Canada
has a "polluter pay" system in place to address spills and a mobilized
combined response effort from government and private enterprise the West
Coast Marine Response Corporation to contain the damage.