Search for Nepal quake survivors continues as death toll exceeds 2,000

Rescuers in Nepal were searching Sunday for survivors of a 7.9-magnitude quake that killed more than 2,300 people, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche from an Everest base camp.


A Buddha statue is surrounded by debris from a collapsed temple in the UNESCO world heritage site of Bhaktapur on April 26, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photograph: Omar Havana/Getty Images/ theguardian

Terrified residents of Kathmandu were woken by fresh aftershocks in the worst disaster to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in more than 80 years, with many force d to spend the night sleeping on the streets or on open ground in makeshift tents.

Hospitals were so stretched that medics had set up tents outside the buildings to treat patients.

The Kathmandu-based National Emergency Operation Centre put the death toll just within Nepal at 2,352 on Sunday with another 6,239 injured. Several media outlets estimated the toll at more than 2,500.

“Tragically, more bodies are being pulled from collapsed buildings every hour,” the Australian Red Cross said in a statement.

The 19th-century Dharahara tower, a major tourist attraction, was among the buildings that collapsed, with at least a dozen bodies taken away from the ruins of the nine-storey structure.

Foreign aid mobilised

Offers of help have poured in from governments around the world, with the United States and European Union members announcing they were sending in disaster response teams. India has dispatched military transport planes while a 62-member Chinese search-and-rescue team with sniffer dogs arrived on the ground in Kathmandu.

Singaporean rescuers were also heading for Nepal on Sunday as was a 70-strong Japanese emergency services team. Aid pledges have also come in from Israel, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and elsewhere.

Numerous aid groups and NGOs have also been mobilised, with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) dispatching an inflatable hospital with up to an 80-bed capacity.

“We have deployed all our resources for searches and rescues,” national police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam told AFP.

“Helicopters have been sent to remote areas. We are sifting through the rubble where buildings have collapsed to see if we can find anyone.”

At least 53 people have died in neighbouring India while Chinese state media said 17 people had also been killed in Tibet.

The county’s cell phone network was working only sporadically, while large parts of the capital were without electricity.

Strong aftershocks

AFP correspondents in Kathmandu reported that tremors were felt throughout the night, including a 6.7-magnitude aftershock.

As rescuers sifted through the huge mounds of rubble, the hospitals were overflowing with victims who suffered multiple fractures and trauma.

“We have treated many people since yesterday, majority children,” said Samir, a doctor at Nepal’s Annapurna Neurological Hospital.

“Most patients have head injuries or fractures. Two of our patients died, two are critical.”

Acharya said that medics were working out of a tent set up in a parking lot because of overflowing patients, while some patients were too scared to stay in the building.

Families had grabbed whatever possessions they could and sought shelter on the streets.

Weather forecasters warned that rain was on the way, with dark clouds looming over Kathmandu that promised more misery for displaced survivors.

Everest disaster

Officials said that at least 17 people were so far known to have died on Mount Everest where an buried part of a base camp.

“We have airlifted 52 from the base camp so far, 35 have been brought to Kathmandu,” said Tulsi Gautam of Nepal’s tourism department, which issues permits to climb the world’s highest mountain.

“Those who are able are walking down. Others are being airlifted.”

It is the deadliest disaster in Everest’s history and comes almost exactly a year after an avalanche killed 16 sherpa guides.

Snowfalls on Saturday had thwarted , where hundreds of mountaineers were gathered at the start of the annual climbing season.

Google executive Dan Fredinburg was the only climber killed to have been identified so far.

Nguồn: Dan Tri News

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