Nepal earthquake: Death toll rises to 5,000

Several people are still trapped under buildings even as hopes of finding survivors of the 7.9 quake fade

GN Bureau | April 27, 2015


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The Nepal earthquake death toll reached over 5,000 and more than 10,000 reported injured as relief and rescue operations continued in full swing. 

READ: What happened in Nepal

It is feared that the toll may rise further, as several people were still trapped under the rubble of buildings, houses and shopping complexes that were demolished by the quake on April 25 and its aftershocks.

Soon after the quake, prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "Nepal's pain is our pain... Today's earthquake has made us all very sad. Reports are still coming on the extent of the damage." Modi also spoke to his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on the phone and assured them of all assistance.

On Monday, Koirala appealed to people to come forward to donate blood, as hospitals badly needed it to treat the injured.

According a UN report, around 40 percent of the country and 6.6 million people were affected by the earthquake and aftershocks that hit the country around Saturday noon. The earthquake also caused an avalanche in the Himalayas and as many as 17 bodies have been recovered from the Mount Everest base camp with 60 people being injured.

More than 60 earthquake-related deaths were reported from parts of India (mainly Bihar and Uttar Pradesh) and about 20 from Tibet. Authorities in these states as well as West Bengal, Delhi and Sikkim are trying to assess the damage even though the intensity of the quake was much less in these two countries.

The Indian government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of those who lost their lives in the earthquake. Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of those who died in the quake. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has offered Rs 2 lakh as compensation to those who died.

Over 2,000 Indians trapped in the tragedy were rescued from Nepal capital Kathmandu and other parts. The ministry of external affairs has, meanwhile, come up with a 24-hour control room for queries regarding the earthquake and survivors.

Numbers:

+91 11 2301 2113

+91 11 2301 4104

+91 11 2301 7905

 
Amidst the continuing aftershocks, people in Nepal and border areas of Bihar spent Saturday and Sunday nights under makeshift tents. Rescue operation was hindered by landslides on mountain roads to remote villages near the epicenter in Pokhara.

The US geological survey has predicted more aftershocks in the coming months. According to its website, 3-14 aftershocks of more than 5 magnitude on the Richter scale are expected in the coming days. It says that there is a 54% chance of a magnitude 6 or greater aftershock. It further added that in the following month and then the following year, USGS expects several magnitude 5 and greater aftershocks, with a significant chance of magnitude 6 and greater aftershock (greater than 50 per cent).

Read more about aftershocks here

People and truckloads of relief material made their way to Nepal from India as almost all Indian telecom operators announced concessional rates for calls to Nepal.

 

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