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© Reuters
People survey a site damaged by an earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal
The quake, measuring 7.9 magnitude on the Richter scale struck 50 miles east of Pokhara in Nepal on Saturday, about half way between the town and the capital Kathmandu

A total of 688 people have been killed after an earthquake devastated Nepal capital Kathmandu and the densely-populated surrounding area today.

The 7.9-magnitude quake also caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings after striking at noon local time, officials said.

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Emergency rescue workers carry a victim on a stretcher after Dharara tower collapsed, in Kathmandu, Nepal
Among the dead are a 15-year-old girl was killed in northern India after the earthquake brought down the wall of her home in a village near the border with Nepal.


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© Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar
People survey a site damaged by an earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal
Another girl was killed by a falling statue in a town outside Nepal's capital Kathmandu, according to Nepal's state radio.

A senior home ministry official told Reuters that 181 of the dead were killed in the capital.

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Nepal earthquake
Several buildings collapsed in the centre of the capital, including centuries-old temples, said resident Prachanda Sual.

He said he saw people running through the streets in panic. Ambulance sirens blared and government helicopters hovered overhead.

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© Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar
People gather near a collapsed house after a major earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal
National radio warned people to stay outdoors because more aftershocks are feared. It is also asking people to maintain calm.

Old Kathmandu city is a warren of tightly-packed, narrow lanes with poorly-constructed homes piled on top of each other.