More than 3,300 people have been killed in the Nepal earthquake.
International rescue teams and relief supplies began arriving in Katmandu on Monday to offer some relief to the shocked survivors. The major quake struck the impoverished nation on Saturday and fatal aftershocks followed on Sunday, causing one of the worst tragedies the country ever seen.
According to officials, at least 3,326 people have been confirmed dead and more than 6,500 people have been injured. The quake-prone Himalayan nation is facing the deadliest natural disaster in more than 80 years.
The death toll in the Nepal quake tragedy might risem as according to AFP, hundreds of foreign mountaineers had gathered at the world’s highest mountain and could have been caught in an avalanche in the aftermath of the quake. Communication with the mountaineers’ base has been lost and officials cannot evaluate the real scale of the tragedy. Rescue workers are still struggling to reach the vulnerable mountain villages.
According to reports cited by AP, the government and aid groups suggest that many communities on the mountainsides are devastated or struggling to cope. Udav Prashad Timalsina, the top official for the Gorkha district, near the epicenter of Saturday’s quake, said he was in desperate need of help. “There are people who are not getting food and shelter. I’ve had reports of villages where 70 percent of the houses have been destroyed,” he said and added that the death toll “would go up because there are thousands who are injured.”
Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake spread horror from Kathmandu to small villages and to the slopes of Mount Everest, triggering an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make their summit attempts.
Tens of thousands of families slept outdoors for a second night, fearful of aftershocks that have not ceased. Kathmandu district chief administrator Ek Narayan Aryal said that “there have been nearly 100 earthquakes and aftershocks, which is making rescue work difficult. Even the rescuers are scared and running because of them.” Tents and water were being handed out Monday at 10 different camps in Kathmandu.
According to AP, aid workers warned that the situation could be far worse near the epicenter. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered near Lamjung, a district about 80 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu. It is believed that most of the roads in the area are being destroyed and the rescue teams will struggle to reach the people in need.