More reports on: Environment

Fresh 5.0 tremor hits Nepal's Pokhara region; thousands still missing

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02 May 2015

A 5.0 magnitude earthquake rattled the Pokhara region of Nepal today, even as thousands of people across the country, including foreigners and tourists, remained untraced after last week's devastating tremor.

Earthquake in Nepal

The US Geological Survey today recorded the 5.0 magnitude earthquake with its epicentre near Pokhara, in Nepal.

The death toll in last week's quake, now estimated at 6,250, could still rise as thousands of people are still missing and food and other help that began to trickle through to those stranded in remote areas, is yet to reach many.

Bodies are still being pulled out of the debris of ruined buildings, while rescue workers have not been able to reach some remote areas.

The official estimated of the number of injured now stands at more than 14,350.

In capital Kathmandu, many unclaimed bodies are still waiting to be cremated and authorities are desperate to avert disease and reduce the stench of corpses in areas where buildings had collapsed.

With its stock of relief material almost exhausted, the Nepal Red Cross Society said so many families still need help and that it had almost exhausted its relief stocks, which were sufficient for 19,000 families.

The Red Cross had warned on Friday that nearly all homes had been wiped out in some towns and villages near the epicentre of Nepal's devastating earthquake.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said they remained "extremely concerned" about the welfare of hundreds of thousands of people in Nepal, five days after a massive earthquake that killed nearly 6,250 people.

In areas outside the Kathmandu Valley, the fate of many people remain unknown, the organisation said.

"Six Red Cross assessment teams are reporting that some towns and villages in the worst-affected districts close to the epicentre have suffered almost total devastation," it said in a statement.

"Local residents are in a desperate situation," it added.

The Sindupalchowk region, a mountainous area northeast of Kathmandu where the devastation appeared particularly dire, is now a major focus of international relief efforts.

Agencies said 90 per cent of the homes there are destroyed. "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," one of the aid officials said in a statement.

IFRC said up to 40,000 homes were estimated to have been destroyed in Sindupalchowk, and the World Health Organisation said on Friday that some 1,400 people had been killed there.

Finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat said Nepal would need at least $2 billion to rebuild homes, hospitals, government offices and historic buildings.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had earlier this week said the death toll from the quake could reach 10,000; it now seems the toll could be even worse.





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