The Nepalese capital resembled a city pummelled by multiple bomb explosions on Sunday as the extent of the devastation caused by the powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake became clear.
The old quarters of Kathmandu lost many historic buildings and new walls that had come up after key roads were widened were flattened by the temblor that killed more than 2,000 people and injured thousands more.
The city was slowly being transformed by a massive road expansion drive but the quake and its aftershocks have pushed back development by several years.
At Hanumandhoka Darbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site with several ancient temples and the palace of Nepal's former royalty, it appeared as if powerful blasts had ripped apart many of the structures that had stood for centuries.
The quake wasn't kind to newly built structures either. Hundreds of residents lost their boundary walls and a large section of the steep wall of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala's residence was reduced to rubble.
"The quake has caused devastation of an immense scale in Kathmandu Valley. We have lost many historical buildings and new structures. It will take many days to assess the exact damage," said an official at the National Emergency Operation Centre.
The quake claimed more than 2,000 lives and injured many hundreds in the capital, and the emergency wards of government and private hospitals were crowded with the injured.
"The rush of patients hasn't abated since yesterday afternoon. We are dealing mostly with fractures, cuts, head injuries and internal and external bleeding," said Dr Sanjeev Tiwari at Tribhuban University Teaching Hospital.
The state-run hospital was flooded with hundreds of patients and their relatives and police and the administration had a difficult time managing the crowds.
The emergency wing was divided into four parts to serve patients in a coordinated manner — red for serious cases, yellow for moderate, green for mild and black for those who die during treatment.
Laxmi Thapa, a resident of Lalitpur, rushed to the hospital with her nine-year-old son on Sunday morning after another hospitals failed to treat his head injuries.
"The quake has destroyed my life. My son has sustained serious head injuries but his elder sister and younger brother are no more," she sobbed while cradling her son who was lying on the floor.
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