BBC News with Ally Macue.
The government of Nepal says it believes at least fifteen hundred people have been killed by a devastating earthquake. The Information Minister, Minendra Rijal, says that number could triple in the next 24 hours, as many people are still thought to be buried in the debris of collapsed buildings. Mr. Rijal said it was a calamity of enormous proportions. The epicentre of the quake was between the capital, Kathmandu and the city of Bokhara. More from our South Asia Editor, Anbarasan Ethirajan.
“It was the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years. Old brick buildings, powerlines keep crashing down, and large cracks opened upon streets and roads. Residents ran out of homes and buildings in panic. The tremor lasted for several minutes, and some witnesses said it was like being on a boat in heavy seas. A number of villages near the epicentre have been flattened. Dozens of people are buried under the collapsed buildings.”
A BBC journalist in Kathmandu says thousands of people are spending the night outside in the open, fearing further tremors.
The earthquake triggered avalanches in the Himalayas, and a number of climbers are known to have died on Mount Everest. Neil Norton, who's leading a team of climbers on the north side of the mountain, said the fate of climbers on the southern side was uncertain.
“We've got a lot of Nepalese shepherds who obvious extremely worried of their friends and colleagues, and family members, not only in Kathmandu, but also obviously working on the south side of the mountain. So we are lending them our satellite phone to make phone calls home. What we do know is that the mountain is periled and shut for 3 days from today. And we'll just have to wait and see what happens next.”
Many countries and international charities have offered aid to Nepal to deal with the disaster. Neighbouring India was the first to send several aircrafts, carrying medical supplies and a mobile hospital. Bailly Sames is from the British Red Cross.
“Certainly, shelter and food is something that we are hearing is really urgent. Even if the homes haven't collapsed completely, they are still have aftershocks at the moment, so people are camping out in the open air. And some people, they've just lost their homes entirely. But there's home neighbourhoods we haven't even heard from yet. Especially towards the epicentre, there has been landslides. We can't get to them. We are not hearing from them. And we fear when we do reach these places, the situation is going to be much worse.”
The European Union has announced that senior officials will sail on an Italian Naval ship off the coast of Sicily on Monday to show their support for efforts to save the lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The E.U.'s Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherin, will join the Head of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, and the Italian Prime Minister, Mario Renzi. More than a thousand migrants are thought to have died so far this month.
World news from the BBC.
One of the world's biggest carmakers, Volkswagen, has announced that its Chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, has resigned with an immediate effect. Mr. Piëch, who's been a leading figure in the company for more than 20 years, had publicly criticized VW's Chief-Executive. More from Rob Young.
“For the past 2 weeks, there's been a very public and destabilising power struggle at the top of Volkswagen. On the one side, it's been the powerful Chairman, Ferdinand Piëch, grandson of the founder of the Porsche car company. On the other, the Chief-Executive, Martin Winterkorn, who Mr. Piëch seemed to dislike. The Board of Volkswagen has said it would extend the Chief-Executive's contract and had lost confidence in the Chairman. So Mr. Piëch and his wife have resigned all heir posts at the firm.”
Israeli police say they have shot dead a Palestinian who attacked a member of the security forces with a knife, a second such incident in 24 hours. The latest violence took place in the West Bank city of Hebron, where a border policeman was stabbed. Late on Friday, a Palestinian teenager was killed after a policeman was attacked with a meat cleaver.
More than fifteen hundred protesters are marching in the American city of Baltimore in the latest protest over the death of a black man in police custody. Demonstrations have taken place daily since the death of Freddie Gray last Sunday that turned out on Saturday was the largest yet. Mr. Gray suffered a fatal injury to his spinal cord a week after he was arrested. He is the latest of a series of black men who've died at the hands of the police.
A prominent Venezuelan opposition leader has been moved from prison to hospital, so he can receive medical treatment. Antonio Ledezma, who is the Mayor of Caracas, was transferred from jail early on Saturday. He was arrested in February and is accused of plotting a coup against President Nicolas Maduro. The Attorney-General's Office said that he would be allowed to recuperate at home under house arrest.
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