(Bloomberg) — The most powerful earthquake to hit Nepal since 1934 killed at least 1,500 people, including more than a dozen climbers on Mount Everest, and left thousands more trapped under rubble as governments and humanitarian groups rushed to offer assistance. 

Panic set in after the 7.8-magnitude temblor struck at 11:41 a.m. Indian Standard Time on Saturday, centered 77 kilometers (48 miles) northwest of the capital Kathmandu, and was followed by at least a dozen aftershocks as strong as 6.6 magnitude. The death toll has climbed to 1,500, Minendra Rijal, Nepal's information minister, said on India's Times Now news channel.

The number of dead is "bound to rise," said Tirtha Raj Wagle, a counselor at Nepal's embassy in New Delhi. "In Kathmandu, many old buildings have collapsed."

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