At least 876 people are feared dead after a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake shook Nepal on Saturday.
The BBC reports that the quake struck the area between the capital of Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara in the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. According to the BBC, Nepali Information Minister Minendra Rijal had relayed claims of “massive damage” from the epicenter of the earthquake, where many buildings collapsed. Nearly 500 were reported dead in Kathmandu alone.
The International Business Times also reported massive destruction at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kathmandu Durbar Square, a major tourist destination, as well as Dharahara Tower, a nine-story tower built in 1824 in the Mughal and European styles.
Photos taken at the scene seem to confirm the reports of terrible damage to the two cities, as well as major loss of life:
According to a United States Geological Survey report, “large earthquakes on the Himalayan thrust are rare in the documented historical era. Just four events of M6 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the April 25, 2015 earthquake over the past century.”