At 06:11 Zulu on April 25, a 7.9 M Earthquake was detected by international earthquake monitoring systems. The initial quake has been followed by multiple aftershocks, decreasing from Magnitude 7.9 to 4.5 over the past 7 hours. Current reports indicate significant damage to older structures and critical infrastructure in Kathmandu, some damage of older structures in Pokhara, numerous landslide events blocking roadways leading to the epicenter, and a major avalanche on Mt. Everest that overran Basecamps 1 and 2. Estimated casualties around Kathmandu and Pokhara have risen to 1,000 persons and rising.
Outside its currently overwhelmed cities, Nepal is an extremely impoverished nation with limited response capacity. The last earthquake event of this size occurred in 1934, 177 km from Kathmandu, killing over 8,500 persons. International assistance has been directly requested by the national government via the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, and more directly to the Indian and Chinese governments.