At 11.45 local time, (06.11 GMT) on Friday 25 April 2015, an earthquake magnitude 7.8 occurred in Nepal; the government has declared a state of emergency. The epicentre of the earthquake was 77kms west of the capital Kathmandu. The Kathmandu valley and surrounding districts are the worst affected areas.
The modern buildings in Kathmandu are reportedly less damaged than the more traditional buildings and historical monuments which have been destroyed. The hospitals in Kathmandu are operating as is the airport (personal communication).
There are major concerns for rural areas; 35 villages are reported to be totally destroyed. Until these areas have been reached, the full extent of the earthquake remains uknown. Relief work is being carried out, however road closures, poor access to communication is making this extremely difficult. Water and electricity supplies have been interrupted.
Avalanches have occurred in the Everest and Macchaputre regions and some deaths with many more missing has been reported. As a result of the earthquake, more than 24 deaths have been reported in neighbouring India, China and Bangladesh.
As of 26 April 2015, the government has reported more than 2200 deaths and more than 5800 injured. These figures are likely to change as information becomes available.
Advice for Travellers
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to Nepal. They also advise UK nationals in Nepal who are in a safe place, to stay there until it is considered safe to leave. Travellers should follow local advice from the authorities. UK nationals are advised to leave Nepal if they can do so safely.
The FCO has listed contact details for UK nationals in Nepal who wish to make their location known.
Travellers intending to visit Nepal in the near future should check with their tour company/sending agency/charity etc for further advice.