An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9 struck western Nepal on Saturday, leveling buildings throughout the country and triggering deadly avalanches on Mount Everest. The Nepalese government placed the preliminary death toll in excess of 2,400 people, with 5,900 injured—but both figures are expected to grow. The earthquake is the largest to strike South Asia since 2005, when a tremor in Pakistan-administered Kashmir killed over 80,000.
Saturday's earthquake caused extensive damage in and around Kathmandu, Nepal's densely populated capital, and destroyed numerous historic structures. The Dhararara Tower, a famous 19th century tower in Kathmandu popular with visitors, completely collapsed. Nepalese police have pulled 60 bodies from the wreckage. The quake also destroyed much of Vasanthapura, a Kathmandu neighborhood noted for its 11th century architecture, and reduced Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO Heritage site, to rubble.