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Day 3 update

Monday, April 27th, 2015
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The rain has made life more difficult for locals waiting out the shocks in temporary shelters Pic: Cynthia Choo

The rain has made life more difficult for locals waiting out the shocks in temporary shelters Pic: Cynthia Choo

Two days after a deadly earthquake struck Nepal, the authorities are struggling to cope with competing demands for relief, as the confirmed death toll crossed 3,500 and was increasing by the hour.

The full scale of the disaster became apparent on Sunday when Nepal Army and Indian Air Force helicopters found village after village in remote Himalayan valleys completely flattened by the quake. Tens of thousands of people are without shelter and in urgent need of medical attention.

In Kathmandu, where there were at least 810 fatalities, almost the entire population spent a rainy night out in the open even as strong aftershocks rocked the city. Residents said they urgently needed tents, warm clothes, food, water and medicines.

Markets remained closed, but the government warned pharmacies on Monday that it would forcibly open them if they did open them themselves. There is still no electricity because of damaged transmission lines and power stations, but the NEA is said to be restoring power prioritising hospitals, the airport and other essential services.

earthquake-Nepal-kathmandu-april25

The main challenge remains getting rescue and relief out to remote and scattered villages, and evacuate the wounded. Although Indian and Nepali military helicopters made 100 sorties on Sunday, and brought 308 severely wounded to Kathmandu, there were overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people living in spread out communities.

The logistical challenge was compounded because heavy-lift MI-17 helicopters could not land on steep mountainsides where the villages are located. So on Monday the MI-17s landed in the district capital, while smaller helicopters ferried the wounded from outlying settlements.

Besides Kathmandu, the death toll has been highest in Nuwakot, Dhading, Gorkha, Lalitupur, Bhaktapur, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok districts — all with more than 150 known fatalities. A multinational military cooperation is underway as India, China, Israel, Pakistan, Singapore, Britain, Sri Lanka and Bhutan have all contributed. Countries with Gurkha soldiers have brought them home for rescue and relief work.

Photographs taken by pilots of rescue helicopters showed villages precariously perched on steep mountainsides with very few of them left standing. Langtang Village is said to have been destroyed by a huge avalanche that fell off a glacier above the settlement. Many trekkers are stranded in Langtang, Budi Gandaki, Tatopani and other areas.

Meanwhile, Kathmandu airport is struggling to cope with the sheer volume of flights. Planes bringing in emergency relief are competing with regular flights for parking slots. The delays had a domino effect where some flights had to be diverted twice, while domestic flights resumed on Monday but with long delays because of congestion.

Reports from outlying areas of Gorkha, Dhading, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok spoke of local people left to fend to themselves, sometimes digging out trapped relatives with their bare hands. In Sindhupalchok two people were rescued alive, and locals say digging equipment and specialised teams with sniffer dogs are immediately needed.

Chief Secretary Leela Mani Poudel told a press conference on Monday afternoon that the government was doing its best to cope with the crisis. He said what Nepal needed immediately were tents, specialised medical teams like orthopedics, and Collapse Structure Rescue and Search (CSRS) teams.

Kunda Dixit

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17 Responses to “Day 3 update”

  1. Kieran Cooke on Says:

    Kunda: this is great work and glad that you are safe.
    Is Kanak alright? And another friend Om Astha Rai who I believe is one of your journalists?
    My thoughts to you
    Kieran

    Editor Climate News Network

  2. Marcel on Says:

    Isaiah 24-26 for Nepal. To understand why and find hope.

    “Behold the Lord makes the earth empty, and makes it waste,
    and turns it upside down, and scatters abroad the inhabitents
    thereof.”
    …all the merryhearted do sigh.
    …the noise of them that rejoice ends.
    Read Isaiah chapter 24 to chapter 26 to understand
    why this happened and has only begun.

  3. Chetna Kunwar on Says:

    At this time all the current ministers should resign and form a new Government for Peace and Reconstruction and all the corrupt politician should be punished

  4. Chris Winter on Says:

    Courage, Nepal, The world is aware, and we are sending prayers and, more importantly, donations, to help as best we can.

  5. Dave on Says:

    In the USA we are all praying for your safety!

  6. Martin on Says:

    Dear Kunda,

    Let us know the best way to help for people outside of Nepal, what is needed most and how to help?

    Martin

  7. Irfan on Says:

    My nephew with Friends were on vacation at sindhupal chowk they are missing since 3 days They stayed at LAST RESORT Hotel They were six in number they came came from dubai and Indian nationals

    Try to find them by your sources

  8. Javier. Karma Dorje on Says:

    Please we need any information possible about Tibet Guest House in Kathmandu Chetrapati/thamel about the, owners, staff and workers.
    We need any possible information about spanish people in Nepal this days.
    I´m waiting for your notices as soon as possible.
    We try for send help to Nepal in the next weeks
    Thank you very much
    Namaste
    Javier. Karma Dorje

  9. Bhim Adhikari on Says:

    Thanks friends for your love to the people of Nepal. This is very assuring.

  10. Grimalzee on Says:

    Isn,t it great of the people of this God forsaken or blessed land of ours ?

    Suramandiratarumulanivasah
    saiyya bhutalam ajinam vasah
    savaparigrahabhogatyagah
    kasya sukham na karoti viragahah!!

    Who can disturb a man’s happiness,if he can be happy ,living in the open halls of temples or under the trees ,lying in the bare ground and wrapped in skins, giving up every possessions and enjoyments?( -to whom will not dispassion bring happiness?)
    -Wrote Shankara.

    “There is no possession so great as non-desire either in this world or in the worlds beyond.” sang Tiruvalluvar.
    This catastrophe proves that happiness is an internal state of mind . It does not reside in the external or the physical body. The Nepalese people have taken th9s state with their stoic calm despite week governance.

  11. Eric Loo on Says:

    Dear Kunda, I’m relieved to come across your report as my email didn’t get through to your inbox. My thoughts are with you, your family and friends in Nepal.

    Regards,
    Eric

  12. Sharon Morales on Says:

    I learned last Saturday that my niece Stephanie Lardizabal-Vallarino and her father Roberto Vallarino were in Kathmandu, Nepal. I am deeply worried for her since the devastating earthquake hit Kathmandu and I have no way of knowing if she and her dad are okay. I am hoping to communicate with her dad and seems that wifi is impossible at this time. If anyone here met them, please or know their whereabouts, please reply. I will greatly appreciate it and gives me and my family peace.
    My prayer goes out to both, my niece and her dad, and to the rest of the individuals and families affected by this calamity. Our family, friends and church are also praying for all of you in Nepal.

  13. Krishna S on Says:

    Most of your previous predictions estimated death of at least 100K, only in the valley. Plus all the houses above two and half stories collapsing and, among another things runway/bridges damage isolating the surviving population. I guess, we were “lucky ” in that regard.
    But, I think, what you failed to see was the dangers of old, non-reinforced mud and brick houses and temples and people living in them. There was a lot of focus on the venerability of taller,newer, concrete reinforced buildings, which, almost all are intact.
    Now, in hindsight, more needs to be studied about these houses and their structural integrity and how to improve them even better. And it has to be based on actual imperical evidence than the stereotyped bias against “these unsafe urban sprawl built without any earthquake norms”. Practically, you cannot have only two story houses in the limited, highly contested land of Kathmandu.

  14. Muhammad on Says:

    May dear Nepalese brothers and sisters, with heavy heart I share with your sufferings and sorrow at this painful time but I’m sure you will pull through, you are a wonderful people and the whole humanity stands with you.
    With sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones and humble prayers for those are still missing and rest of you, I ask God to give you the strength and patience to endure this painful times.
    Muhammad

    P.S. in the Sultanate of Oman and I’m sure in every other country people are working hard to make sure that we come to your aid in your hour of need, you are not alone.

  15. Daniel Gajaraj on Says:

    The Wonderful “One -House on the Way”
    A Logical Story
    ( with apology to Oliver Wendell Holmes).
    Have you heard of the wonderful house on the way,
    That was built in such a logical way ,
    It ran hundred years to a day,
    And then, of a sudden,it-ah ,but stay,
    I’ll tell you what happened without delay,
    Scaring people into fits,Frightening the people out of their wits-

    That was the year When Kathmandu-town
    Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
    Left without a scalp to its crown,
    It was on the terrible Earthquake-day,

    Did I tell you ,I rather guess ,
    She was a wonder ,and nothing less,

    But there stood the stout old house on the way,
    As fresh as on Kathmandu-earthquake-day,

    Little of all we value here,Wakes of the morn of its hundredth year,
    Without both feeling and looking queer,
    In fact, there,s nothing that keeps its youth,So far I know,but a tree and truth,

  16. Daniel Gajaraj on Says:

    (This is a moral that runs at large:
    Take it,-You are welcome,-No extra charge.)

    TWENTY-FIFTH of APRIL-the earthquake-day,-
    There are traces of age in the house on the way,
    At 4 mns. to twelve by the Ghanta-ghar clock,-
    Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
    What do you think the people found,When he got up and stared around?

    The poor old house in a heap or mound,
    AS IF IT HAD BEEN TO THE MILL A ND GROUND!

    YOU SEE,OF COURSE,IF YOU ARE NOT A DUNCE,
    HOW IT WENT TO PIECES ALL AT ONCE,-

    ALL AT ONCE,AND NOTHING FIRST,-
    JUST AS BUBBLES DO WHEN THEY BURST.
    END OF THE WONDERFUL HOUSE ON THW WAY ,

    Logic is logic, That’s all I say.

  17. Daniel Gajaraj on Says:

    NB:
    Kathmandu – ( kata-mundu read as in Bengali).

    Eespecially structural engineers in particular. Mark:
    Best engineered design, of a structure – is a soap bubble as best example.
    It is so designed that it is uniformly balanced one . No material is wasted in excess in any part of it.

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