Nepal quake: Death toll exceeds 3218, India steps up rescue efforts

nepal-quake1The most devastating earthquake to hit Nepal in 81 years has unleashed an unending trail of death, destruction and trauma, with the death toll climbing up to over 3,218 and more than 6,500 people injured.

On April 26 afternoon, another powerful tremor measuring 6.7 magnitude, according to US Geological Survey (USGS), rocked Nepal, leaving its quake-residents reeling and without respite from continuing aftershocks of varying intensity.

The Nepalese government has declared emergency in affected areas and announced a relief package of Rs 500 million. The Himalayan country has also appealed to India and China as well as other governments for help in relief and rehabilitation.

India has been prompt to respond within minutes of the quake and has firmed up a multi-pronged rescue operation to help the fraternal neighbouring country, also home to a large Indian diaspora.

A C17 aircraft, sent by India, with 225 Indians on board, touched down in New Delhi from Kathmandu.

“Our immediate focus is on rescue and relief. We are also examining land route for evacuating of Indians,” India’s Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar told reporters in New Delhi on April 26.

The April 25 earthquake measuring 7.9 on Richter scale has not only triggered an avalanche of death and destruction, but has exposed residents of Nepal to unimaginable hardships. Following the Saturday quake, people are living in the open in camps, without proper food, water or care.

Around 200 foreign tourists have gone missing in a massive avalanche sparked by the massive quake.