A major earthquake struck Nepal on the morning of the 25th April 2015, causing thousands of deaths and leveling major parts of the capital, Kathmandu. Avalanches were also reported in the Himalayas, including on Mount Everest, where further deaths occurred. The epicenter quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, with over 100 after-shocks, one of which reached 6.7 on the Richter scale.
The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people, relies heavily on tourism, principally trekking and Himalayan mountain climbing. The quake has put a huge strain on the resources of this impoverished country best known for the highest mountain in the world.
The United Nations and the World Bank estimate that more than 8 million people have been affected by the earthquake and 1.3 million are in need of food assistance.