Key facts about Nepal, site of magnitude-7.8 quake

AP News
|
Posted: Apr 25, 2015 6:25 AM
Key facts about Nepal, site of magnitude-7.8 quake

Key facts about Nepal, where an earthquake magnitude-7.8 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 US$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.