The earthquake death toll in Nepal has crossed 5000, with close to 10,000 injured, after Nepal’s deadliest natural disaster in 81 years struck the Himalayan nation on April 25.
Thousands are feared trapped under the debris of what used to be iconic monuments, religious sites, homes and work places. With each passing hour and the chances of finding survivors diminishing, rescue workers are racing against the clock, literally; after a 72-hour period the survival rate of victims drops dramatically. But there is also some cheering news to report: rescue teams extricated a young man who was trapped for more than 80 hours under rubble that was once his home, raising hopes for similar miracles.
With the death toll fated to rise, pending damage assessment of villages scattered around the countryside, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Kumar Koirala said that the figure may rise to 10,000 in the coming days. This sombre prediction was shared by local district officials such as Krishna Pokharel, responsible for Sindhupalchowk, a small town close to Kathmandu. “There are hundreds of houses where our people have not been able to reach yet,” he said. “There is a shortage of fuel, the weather is bad and there is not enough help coming in from Kathmandu,” he added.
Battling inclement weather, possible landslides, shortage of essential supplies like potable water, impending outbreak of disease and lack of heavy equipment, rescuers and relief personnel continue to face an uphill battle.
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