By Gopal Sharma and Ross Adkin KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people, touching off a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest and toppling a 19th-century tower in the capital Kathmandu. There were reports of devastation in outlying, isolated mountainous areas after the midday quake of magnitude 7.9, Nepal's worst in 81 years, centered 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara. India was first to respond by sending in military aircraft with medical equipment and relief teams. A police spokesman said the death toll in Nepal alone had reached 1,341, about half of them in the Kathmandu Valley.
A massive earthquake killed more than 1,200 people Saturday as it tore through large parts of Nepal, toppling office blocks and towers in Kathmandu and triggering a deadly avalanche at Everest base camp. Officials said at least 1,170 people are known to have died in Nepal, making it the quake-prone Himalayan nation's worst disaster in more than 80 years. "The death toll has reached 1,170," Nepal police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP, adding that rescue efforts were still underway. Offers of help poured in from governments around the world, with the United States and the European Union announcing they were sending in disaster response teams.