Nepal earthquake: Death toll rises above 3,000

KATHMANDU - At least 3,617 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday, police say.

More than 6,500 people have been injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.

Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India.

More than 200 climbers have been rescued around Mount Everest, which was struck by deadly avalanches in the 7.8-magnitude quake.

Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continued. Thousands spent Sunday night - their second night - outside.

Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.

Initial reports suggest that many communities, especially those close to mountainsides, suffered significant quake damage.

"Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it's not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls," Matt Darvas, spokesman for aid agency World Vision said.

A man evacuated by helicopter to Pokhara, 200km from Kathmandu, said almost every home in his village of more than 1,000 houses had been destroyed, Mr Darvas told the BBC.

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