Thousands sleep in the open in Kathmandu valley

Kathmandu residents wake up after a night sleeping in the open after a powerful earthquake in Nepal kills at least 1,900.

KATHMANDU, NEPAL (APRIL 26, 2015)(KANTIPUR) – Thousands of residents awoke on Sunday morning (April 26) after a night out in the open following an earthquake that devastated the heavily crowded Kathmandu valley.

At least 1,900 people have been killed, some of them in an avalanche on Mount Everest triggered by the quake.

Thousands of people spent the night outside in freezing temperatures and patchy rain, too afraid to return to their damaged homes.

On Sunday, survivors wandered the streets clutching flimsy bed rolls and blankets, while others sat in the street cradling their children, surrounded by a few plastic bags of belongings.

With the government overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster, India flew in medical supplies and relief crews, while China sent in a 60-strong emergency team.

Among the capital’s landmarks destroyed in the earthquake was the 60-metre (200-foot) Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal.

A jagged stump was all that was left of the lighthouse-like structure. As bodies were pulled from the ruins on Saturday (April 25), a policeman said up to 200 people had been trapped inside.

Some buildings in Kathmandu toppled like houses of cards, others leaned at precarious angles, and partial collapses exposed living rooms with furniture in place and belongings stacked on shelves.

The 7.9 magnitude quake struck at midday on Saturday at a busy time of year for the tourism-reliant nation’s trekking and climbing season, with an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in the country.

Nepal police put the death toll at 1,910, with 4,625 injured. At least 700 were killed in the capital, a city of about 1 million people where many homes are old, flimsy and packed close together.