Nepal earthquake: 'People are panicked, running down to streets'

Story highlights

  • Massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal near its capital, Kathmandu
  • As the death toll rises, witnesses describe devastation and panic

(CNN)Panic. Tears. Fear.

All those feelings and more permeated cities, villages and camps around Nepal on Saturday, after a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck around midday.
    Hours later, after a wave of relentless aftershocks, many people still were too scared to go back inside any buildings. Others crowded around rubble, including men and women racing to rescue those trapped. And then there are the thousands already confirmed dead, not to mention the many more who suffered injuries.
    Below are some accounts from witnesses in the mountainous Asian nation, in their own words.

    Jesse Anderson in Kathmandu

    Anderson, an American who was in Nepal for trekking and meditation, was in his hotel room when the quake struck.
    "I went outside five minutes after the major tremors stopped. I went to a parking lot nearby for one hour or so, then walked down the main road," he said.
    He took a series of photos on the main road between Thamal and Durbar Squares, that he shared via CNN iReport.

    Brabim Kumar in Kathmandu

    Kumar posted a photo of people in his neighborhood sheltering in a makeshift tent after the quake.
    He sent updates via Twitter about what he was seeing in the Lalitpur District of Kathmandu.
    "It's getting dark, no power and no water supply in Lalitpur area, but people are helping each other with food and other items
    "Almost everyone staying outside home...Hard time for small kids & older people
    "People are very worried & are planning to stay out on the street overnight, but they lack sufficient food & water."

    Rupa Joshi in Kathmandu

    Joshi is a UNICEF communication officer who was on the ground at the time of the quake.
    "The shake was like nothing I have experienced in my 57 years. It was strong and it shook for a long time."
    Old monuments and temples fell, Joshi wrote of his experience. There were fears that other buildings would collapse.
    "When I went out in the evening, I saw many people preparing to camp out in the main open parade ground in the middle of the street. Relatives were crying in the main government hospital where the dead were being lined up in front of the hospital building.
    "My family is traumatized. We are 5 generations living under one roof -- from a 100 year old grandmother to my 16 month old granddaughter. Strong aftershocks are keeping most of us up!"

    Kashish Das Shrestha in Kathmandu

    "Some of the historical sites are completely devastated.
    "Most of the people -- a lot of the people -- are walking through the city. They're confused and scared. A lot of people are crying.
    "They're out with their pets and their families and a lot of locals are volunteering in rescue operations.
    "In several parts of Kathmandu, a lot of people seem trapped under the rubble. Locals are trying to rescue these people because they can still hear them."

    Journalist Shiwani Neupane in Kathmandu

    "We are scared and waiting for the tremors to end. We are all sitting outside because there is more news of another quake.
    "There is no power and families are listening to the FM radio inside their cars. News of multiple building collapses.
    "I've seen many cracked walls and roads and buildings.
    "The Dharahara was packed with people a while ago. There are police everywhere trying to move rubble to make space on the roads for ambulances. Everyone is very scared. "
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    Journalist Kanak Mani Dixit, Kathmandu

    "I see many cracked buildings and people are panicked and all running down to the streets.
    "The main landmark in Kathmandu is a spire, Dharahara, and it has fallen down, it is about 140 feet high in the center city.
    "Another aftershock is hitting now, it is really strong.
    "Airplanes are circling now overhead and helicopters are flying and not clear if the airport is open. We hear it is damaged."

    Journalist Manesh Shreshtra, Kathmandu

    "Many historic buildings have collapsed in the city.
    "In all my years I have never seen such a big earthquake here.
    "There are sometimes small shaking, sometimes bigger but this is the worst and my home has been cracked and it is a relatively strong house."
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    John Parajuli, U.N. Development Programme, Kathmandu

    "Around where I am, people are in open spaces. There have been several aftershocks, I think they're all waiting, hoping they know what to do.
    "You can see glass walls, portions of buildings and cracks in the building. People are confused. they're staying out in the open."