KATHMANDU, Nepal (CBSNewYork/AP) — A powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing at least 1,800 people across a swath of four countries as the violently shaking earth collapsed houses, leveled centuries-old temples and triggered avalanches on Mount Everest. It was the worst tremor to hit the poor South Asian nation in more than 80 years.
Among the dead is Marisa Eve Girawong, of Edison, New Jersey, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
Girawong was a physician’s assistant at the Mount Everest base camp.
“Our hearts are broken. Eve perished in the aftermath of the avalanche…Our thoughts and prayers are with Eve and her family and friends,” a Madison Mountaineering spokesman said in a statement.
Another 34 were killed in India, 12 in Tibet and two in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died in the Nepal-China border. The death toll is almost certain to rise, said deputy Inspector General of Police Komal Singh Bam.
It was a few minutes before noon when the quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8, began to rumble across the densely populated Kathmandu Valley, rippling through the capital Kathmandu and spreading in all directions — north toward the Himalayas and Tibet, south to the Indo-Gangetic plains, east toward the Brahmaputra delta of Bangladesh and west toward the historical city of Lahore in Pakistan.