Death toll nears 4,000
The 7.8-magnitude quake, the worst to strike the country in over 80 years, led to 6,500 people being injured as well as leading to the death of dozens of people in neighbouring China and India.
Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu saw vast tent cities springing up to accommodate for displaced civilians or those too fearful to return home due to the strong aftershocks ravaging the country.
Udav Prashad Timalsin, a senior official in the district of Gorkha, where the earthquake’s epicentre was based, had heard of reports that 70% of houses had been destroyed.
“Things are really bad in the district, especially in remote mountain villages,” Udav Prashad Timalsin said. “There are people who are not getting food and shelter.”
A warning issued by officials stated that the number of casualties could increase as remote mountainous regions of western Nepal are reached by rescue teams, with initial reports suggesting that many communities close to the mountains have suffered substantial damage due to the quake.
The spokesman for aid agency World Vision Matt Darvas said: “Villages like this 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.”
He added that a man who had been evacuated via helicopter from Pokhara, 200km from Kathmandu, had said that his village of over 1,000 houses had seen almost every home destroyed.
The UN has said that the quake left the country running short on water and food, with hospitals overflowing with patients, shops being closed as well as suffering frequent power cuts.
Fifteen international search-and-rescue teams and 14 international medical teams arrived in Nepal to assist the country in coping with the earthquake’s aftermath, according to the UN.