Scenes of devastation after 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal

Twenty four hours after Nepal was rattled by a massive earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, more than 3,000 people have lost their lives, and villages, roads, highways and ancient buildings have been devastated. The total economic losses from the damage could be between $1 billion and $10 billion, according to the US Geological Survey’s best estimate.

In all, the destruction could push the economy of Nepal—already one of the world’s poorest countries—back by a decade or more, significantly hurting the small Himalayan nation’s efforts to move from a “Least Developed Country” to a “Developing Country” by 2022.

“Almost 100 quakes in the last 24 hours have pushed us 50 years back to the past, in terms of infrastructural damage alone,” said Mukesh Khanal, an economist who works in the international development sector in Nepal.

Meanwhile, strong aftershocks are continuing to hit the region. At 12.39pm on April 26, another earthquake measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale hit Nepal, and was felt across parts of northern India.