Nepal scrambles to hand out aid

Toll touches 4,000: Tremors hamper relief work | Thousands flee capital | Chaos prevails at airport | In India, 72 dead so far 28 Apr 2015 | 1:50 AM

KATHMANDU: Rescue workers on Monday intensified efforts to locate survivors trapped under tonnes of rubble of flattened homes and buildings in earthquake-hit Nepal as the death toll soared to 4,000 amidst fears that it could touch 5,000.

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Kathmandu, April 27

Nepalese officials scrambled to get aid from the main airport to people left homeless and hungry by Saturday’s devastating earthquake as the death toll climbed to 4,000 on Monday. Another 6,500 persons have been injured.
A senior interior ministry official said the toll may reach 5,000 in the worse such disaster in Nepal since 1934, when 8,500 people were killed.
Thousands of stranded people tired of waiting fled the capital Kathmandu for the surrounding plains.
Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport was hobbled by many employees not showing up for work, people trying to get out, and a series of aftershocks which forced it to close several times since the quake. Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam was supervising aid delivery and arranging for passengers to leave the country.
In Kathmandu, sick and wounded people were lying out in the open, unable to find beds in the devastated city's hospitals. Surgeons set up an operating theatre inside a tent in the grounds of Kathmandu Medical College. Government officials said they needed more supplies of food, medicines, specialised rescue services and body bags.
"The morgues are getting full," said Shankar Koirala, an official in the Prime Minister's Office who is dealing with the disposal of bodies. Families lit funeral pyres for the dead in towns and across the countryside. Many of Kathmandu's one million residents have slept in the open since Saturday, either because their homes were flattened or they were terrified that aftershocks would bring the structures crashing down.
On Monday, thousands streamed out of the city. Roads leading from Kathmandu were jammed with people, some carrying babies, trying to climb onto buses or hitch rides aboard cars and trucks to the plains. Long queues had formed at the airport.  Across the capital and beyond, exhausted families laid mattresses out on streets and erected tents to shelter from rain. People queued for water dispensed from trucks, while the few stores still open had next to nothing on their shelves. Humanitarian agencies said materials such as plastic sheets, dry food rations, clean water and blankets were being dispatched to affected people.
The death toll in India has risen to 72, with over 300 people seriously wounded. Among those dead, 56 are in Bihar, 12 in UP, three in West Bengal and one in Rajasthan. — Agencies

Nepal scrambles to hand out aidLIVES SAVED: An injured woman and her daughter receive medical treatment after arriving at Dhading hospital near Kathmandu on Monday. REUTERS
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