Nepal tragedy: death toll crosses 5,000

Power is reaching only some parts of the capital city. Thousands of people are still sleeping in the open

By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 29 April 2015

An RAF C17 aircraft is loaded with aid from British people for the earthquake-affected victims of Nepal (Photo: DFID/Flickr)

The death toll in the Nepal earthquake crossed the 5,000-mark on Tuesday, according to official figures. More than 8,000 people have been injured in the tragedy and the figure is rising as more and more people are being rescued from various quake-hit districts across the country, news reports say. In Kathmandu, the latest injury figure stands at 2,400 followed by Bhaktapur (1,886) and Lalitpur (1,090) districts.

It has been estimated that at least eight million people need humanitarian assistance. The number is expected to rise as response teams are reaching out to remote parts of the country, according to a report by the Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM).

While Kathmandu is trying to limp back to normal, it will take a lot of time. Power is reaching only some parts of the capital city. Thousands of people are still sleeping in the open. Makeshift tents have been erected on open lands. Banks are still closed and mobile networks are experiencing outages.

“Over 200 of us from our neighbourhood have been sleeping outside since Saturday. We’re scared to go back to our homes,” Kathmandu resident Raj, who was displaced along with seven family members, was quoted by IOM as saying.

“The community is taking care of each other, and we’re proud of that, but if this goes on much longer we will need more help. I’m especially worried about fresh water and no lights at night.”

With the monsoon season approaching and sporadic rainfall occurring in Kathmandu, serious health and safety concerns have surfaced for those camping in the open. As several roads are still blocked by landslides, access to remote areas still remains a challenge.

The limited runway capacity at the Kathmandu airport is making it difficult to get emergency workers and supplies into the country.

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