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Nepal earthquake toll hits 2,400 as rain stalls rescue

People search for family members trapped inside collapsed houses a day after an earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal on Sunday.  

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With no electricity, Kathmandu looked a ghost town with rain pounding the city.

Rain and fresh tremors on Sunday night compounded Nepal’s agony, hampering the search for survivors of Saturday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake that has killed over 2,400 people, including five Indians, and left more than 6,000 injured.



With no electricity, capital Kathmandu looked a ghost town with rain pounding the city, forcing the closure of the airport where chaotic scenes were witnessed with stranded foreign tourists desperate to go home.



Earlier in the day, fresh powerful aftershocks triggered panic among the stricken people and caused avalanches on Mt. Everest which had on Saturday taken a toll of 22 lives. A strong 6.7-magnitude aftershock followed by another measuring 6.5 on the Richter Scale, sent people scrambling for open spaces.



Earlier, with the clock ticking away, rescuers frantically cleared mounds of flattened homes and buildings in search of survivors.



According to the Kathmandu-based National Emergency Operation Centre, 1,053 people were killed in Kathmandu Valley alone. Mass cremations were held here as the death toll continued to climb throughout the day. Forty of the 75 districts in Nepal have been affected, some of them severely, especially in the central and eastern hilly regions.



The government declared an emergency in the affected areas and announced a relief package of 500 million Nepal rupees. The country has appealed to India and China and other governments for help in relief and rehabilitation. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who cut short his visit to Indonesia, arrived in the capital on Sunday.



Hospitals are near breaking point with the heavy influx of the injured. Some families lost more than one member in the calamity.



Local media reported that 200 foreign tourists had gone missing in the quake-triggered avalanche in the Himalayas. Ekantipur.com, a news website, reported that 22 bodies were brought to the capital. Sixty-one tourists have been rescued. Thirty-two of them have been brought to Kathmandu and 29 are being treated in a hospital in Lukla.



Details of casualties and other loss in India:



State

Lives lost

Injured

Buildings destroyed/damaged

Bihar

42

156

53

Uttar Pradesh

12

46

04

West Bengal

NA

54

03

Sikkim

NA

08

61

Rajasthan

01

NA

NA

(With inputs from PTI & AP)



Rain stalls rescue work in Nepal

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Nepal earthquake toll hits 2,400

With no electricity, Kathmandu looked a ghost town with rain pounding the city..


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Printable version | Feb 23, 2018 5:19:10 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/nepal-quake-toll-continues-to-climb-amid-aftershocks/article7143202.ece