by Allanah Leahy – EM TV Online
Aid agencies are preparing massive operations, as the death toll in the aftermath of the 7.9 magnitude earthquake, that hit Nepal on the weekend, passes 5,000.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said it may reach 10,000, as information on damage from remote areas has not yet come in. He described the disaster as a ‘challenge’, and a very difficult time for Nepal.
With over 10,000 injuries and counting, international aid has not slowed.
On Monday, Britain loaded an RAF C-17 complete with shelter kits, rope, and solar lanterns and chargers among others. Rescue teams from India and China worked together on Tuesday, inserting cameras into rubble for signs of life. Japan, yesterday, sent around 270 military personnel to Nepal to help with rescue operations.
Nepal government officials said they need more food supplies, medicines, specialised rescue services and body bags.
Although aid has been flooding in from around the world, earthquake aftershocks have delayed the delivery, causing the airport to close occasionally. Yesterday, angry Nepali villagers denied the entry of trucks carrying supplies for victims, demanding that the government do more to help the situation as thousands remain homeless and in need of food and water.
The villagers blocked two trucks that were headed to the capital and loaded with food supplies, as well as three army trucks bearing relief supplies. Meanwhile, around 200 protesters gathered outside parliament asking for quicker aid distribution in the remote parts of the Himalayas.
Much of Kathmandu’s population of one million have been sleeping in the open since the earthquake and although aid is arriving in the capital, authorities continue to struggle to deliver relief to remote areas.
Yesterday, the United Nations launched a $415 million (over K1 billion) emergency appeal in response to the devastation. The UN said 1.4 million people out of the 8 million affected are in need of food and will also support the Nepal government.