Nepal quake toll rises above 3,600; Rescue workers intensify efforts
Kathmandu: Rescue workers on Monday intensified efforts to locate survivors trapped under tonnes of rubble of flattened homes and buildings in earthquake-hit Nepal amid concerns that death toll could rise from more than 3,600 with rescue teams reaching remote mountainous areas.
A Nepalese woman holds the hand of her relative killed in the earthquake. Pic/PTI
Racing against time, multi-national rescue teams with sniffer dogs and advanced equipment are desperately trying to
locate survivors as hundreds of people are still missing. More than 700 disaster relief experts drawn from the National Disaster Relief Force have been deployed by India.
Watch Video: A building collapses moments after the earthquake hits Nepal
The ministry of home affairs said more than 6,500 people were injured, according to reports on Monday. A total of 11 districts were hit, of which the worst-affected were Kathmandu, Sindhupalchowk, Lalitpur, Gorkha and Bhaktapur.
In a statement, Nepalese police today said the death toll had risen to 3,617 people. That does not include the 22 people killed in the avalanche on Mount Everest. Nepalese Home ministry's national disaster management division said more than 6,830 people were injured. 1,053 people are reported killed in the Kathmandu Valley alone and 875 in Sindhupal chowk, it said.
Officials and aid agencies have warned that the casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal. "Villages are routinely affected by landslides, and it's not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls," aid agency World Vision spokesman Matt Darvas said.
The blocked roads, downed power lines and overcrowded hospitals along with fresh tremors are hampering rescue efforts to locate survivors of the Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake that had its impact in several cities in Bihar, West Bengal and UP northeast India.
It was also felt in Southern and Western parts of India, China, Bhutan and as far as Pakistan and Bangladesh. Officials said five Indians, including the daughter of an Indian embassy employee, were among those killed in the quake.
Tens of thousands of people were forced to spend the two consecutive nights sleeping in open in makeshift plastic tents barely shielding them from the pouring rain.
India steps up rescue and relief mission 'operation maitri'
Scaling up relief and rescue efforts in quake-hit Nepal that was named 'Operation Maitri', India yesterday deployed two dozen military aircraft and choppers and was also undertaking a major evacuation through the road route. Nearly 1,000 trained personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were also pressed into service.
A slew of steps were also taken for speedy evacuation of stranded tourists including goodwill visas to foreigners and mobilising buses and ambulances to bring them by road. Over 1,000 people have been flown from Nepal since Saturday. “I underline that rapid rescue and relief is our primary mission in Nepal. Situation in Nepal is very, very serious,” said Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
Jaishankar said 546 Indian nationals were brought back on Saturday while 504 arrived yesterday and 130 more were expected to land late last night. He said while the rescue teams were trying to evacuate nationals of other countries, Indians were the obvious priority.
Death toll in India 51 in Bihar, 13 in UP, 2 in West Bengal and one in Rajasthan
The death toll in Tibet
Items sent from India to Kathmandu over the past two days
tonnes of blankets
tonnes of water
tonnes of food
Indian embassy in Kathmandu: +977 9851107021, 9851135141
Police emergency number: 4228435/4226853
Metropolitan police range: +977 4261945/ (Kathmandu) +977 4261790
Metropolitan police range (Lalitpur): +977 5521207
Metropolitan police range (Bhaktapur): +977 6614821
Paropkar Ambulance service: +977 4260859
Lalitpur Red Cross ambulance service: +977 5545666
Bishal Bazaar Ambulance service: +977 4244121
Red Cross ambulance service: +977 4228094
Indian MEA 24-hr helpline numbers
+91 11 2301 2113
+91 11 2301 4104
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