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Western students safe abroad after 7.3 magnitude earthquake hits Nepal

Four Western Washington University students studying in Nepal are safe and well after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake shook the nation Tuesday, May 12. The Western students, part of a Wildlands Studies group in Nepal, were hiking near the mountain Kala Patthar on an open, well-traveled trail and felt a somewhat mild version of Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake, Western's University Communications Director Paul Cocke said in an email. There were only a few houses nearby and those were not damaged in any way, he said. The epicenter of the most recent earthquake was 50 miles east of the country’s capital Kathmandu, according to the New York Times. Nepal reported more than 40 deaths and over 1,000 injuries after the Tuesday quake. On April 25, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 caused more than 8,000 deaths in Nepal. During that first earthquake, the Wildlands Studies group was outside the area that suffered from the most damages, and received no injuries, Cocke said. The group is scheduled to depart Nepal Saturday, May 23, but in the wake of the second earthquake the group is considering whether to leave earlier than that original departure date, Cocke said.

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