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Saturday, April 25, 2015, 17:44

Key facts about Nepal, site of quake

By Associated Press
Key facts about Nepal, site of quake
In this March 21, 2015 file photo, acaravan of yaks return after dropping off supplies for the upcoming climbing season at the Everest Base camp, Nepal. (AP Photo/Tashi Sherpa)

Key facts about Nepal, where an magnitude 7.9 earthquake hit Saturday:

GEOGRAPHY:

Straddles the Himalayas between northern India and China and is home to Mt. Everest, the world's tallest mountain. It rises steeply from the Ganges River Basin in India and contains high fertile valleys and eight of the world's 14 highest peaks.

PEOPLE:

27.8 million, about 90 percent Hindu and 5 percent Buddhist.

CAPITAL:

Kathmandu, pop. 700,000

AREA:

147,181 square kilometers (56,827 square miles)

ECONOMY:

One of the world's poorest countries, more than 80 percent of the population depends on agriculture. Per capita annual income is $656 and an estimated 25 percent of the people live in poverty.

CLIMBERS:

Some 230,000 people — nearly half of Nepal's yearly foreign visitors — come to trek the Himalayas, with 810 attempting to scale Mt. Everest in 2013. Everest is the centerpiece of the tourism industry, which earns the country $3.3 million each year in climbing fees alone.

GOVERNMENT:

Political turmoil since the centuries-old monarchy was overthrown in 2008, which also marked the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency. Political infighting has prevented a deal on a new constitution.

 
 
 
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