Nepal earthquake death toll hits over 6,300: Officials
Over 6,300 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the devastating earthquake that hit the South Asian country of Nepal, officials say.
On Friday, Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center said in its latest update that a total of 6,204 people in Nepal are now known to have lost their lives in the 7.8-magnitude quake.
A further 13,932 people were injured in the April 25 natural disaster, it added.
The center also said that more than 100 others were killed in neighboring India and China.
The Red Cross has warned of “total devastation” in remote and far-flung areas of the poor Himalayan nation.
“One of our teams that returned from Chautara in Sindhupalchowk district reported that 90 percent of the homes are destroyed,” said Jagan Chapagain, Asia head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, adding, “The hospital has collapsed, and people are digging through the rubble with their hands in the hope that they might find family members who are still alive.”
This handout photo taken on April 30, 2015 and released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) shows Nepalese helping to remove rubble from the ancient Mahadev Mandir temple at Durbar Square in the city of Bhaktapur, east of Kathmandu. © AFP
Sources say almost all the houses have been so severely damaged that they were no longer habitable, and locals are sleeping in makeshift tents across several rural regions.
The developments come as Nepal’s government struggles to deal with the scale of the disaster. Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has recently warned that death toll could soar to as many as 10,000 as rescue teams reach far-flung villages and towns.
Meanwhile, survivors of the strong tremor clashed with riot police in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu in recent days during protests over government’s handling of the situation.
The Nepalese government had promised to provide special services to far-flung rural areas. However, supplies of food and water are running thin in the capital, Kathmandu, home to some 2.5 million before it was hit by the quake.
This photo taken on April 30, 2015 shows earthquake victims staying in open air in Paslang village in Gorkha, Nepal. © AFP
The United Nations estimates that some 8 million people have been affected by the disaster, more than 1.4 million people are in urgent need of food supplies and tens of thousands have been left homeless.
The UN said that around 70,000 houses had been destroyed and another 530,000 damaged as a result of the quake.
The world body has appealed for $415 million for Nepal to reconstruct the devastated Himalayan nation.