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A powerful earthquake centred in Nepal has killed more than 1,300 people across four countries, flattening houses and temples as well as triggering a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.

The epicentre was 50 miles northwest of the capital Kathmandu and 50 miles east of the second city of Pokhara shortly before noon on Saturday.

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The magnitude 7.9 quake was the strongest in Nepal for 81 years and tremors could be felt hundreds of miles away in northern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tibet.

At least 300 people were reported dead in Kathmandu and 634 in the Kathmandu Valley. There are fears many others are trapped under rubble.

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The quake, which was relatively shallow – making it more powerful – toppled the city’s iconic 60 metre (100ft) high Dharahara tower, with rescuers scrambling to reach up to 200 people reportedly stuck inside.

 

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