Nepal govt. to provide cash for temporary homes

Continuous landslides hamper rescue and relief

May 16, 2015 07:41 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:30 pm IST - Kathmandu

A day after Nepali Congress party recommended giving cash to the people instead of tin sheets to build temporary shelters, the government on Saturday decided to provide Rs 15,000 to those who were affected by the earthquake.

A Cabinet meeting decided to issue the amount to the people affected by the earthquake of 7.9 magnitude on April 25 and its aftershocks, the most prominent ones occurring on April 26 (of 6.7 magnitude) and May 12 (7.4 magnitude). The government was also planning to temporarily ban the exports of such corrugated sheets in view of their shortage.

Aftershocks of over 4 magnitude continued, even on Saturday. A strong one, of 5.5 magnitude, was felt in capital and elsewhere at 5.19 p.m. local time. According to Nepal Seismological Centre, the epicentre of the aftershock was Dolkaha. The epicentre of the first quake was Gorkha, west of Kathmandu and the one on May 12 was between Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk districts.

Nearly 8,500 people were killed in the quake and aftershocks, which also left over 20,000 injured. According to government estimates, over 530,000 houses were destroyed and over 3,00,000 houses damaged. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said over 8.1 million people were affected.

Meanwhile, rescue and relief efforts were hampered by continuous landslides triggered by the earthquake and rains. Reports said a number of slides occurred in Dolakha and Sindhupalchowk districts.

A team of Nepal Army on Saturday resumed its task of looking for survivors believed to have been buried in a house that collapsed due to landslide in Singti on Dolkaha. So far five people were rescued alive. Locals said more people were trapped inside.

Five bodies found in chopper crash

Nepal Army said they found the human remains of the five personnel who died in a U.S. Marine helicopter crash. On Friday, three bodies and the wreckage of the UH-1Y chopper was found on a slope at 11,300 feet at Ghorthali village in Sindhupalchowk district. There were 6 U.S. Marines and 2 soldiers from the Nepal Army. The chopper was on relief mission when it went missing on May 12.

ICRC seeks $93m in emergency relief

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Saturday appealed for an emergency funding of U.S. $93m to assist those affected by recent earthquake in Nepal. Addressing a press conference in Kathmandu, the Federation’s Secretary-General Elhadj As Sy said the amount would help the 7,00,000 most vulnerable people for two years. The Red Cross group was closely coordinating with the Nepal government and other humanitarian agencies to provide relief to those who need it.

Replying to a question on the possibility of an epidemic outbreak, Mr. Sy said, “So far we have not seen any evidence of it but the risk is always there.” Mr. Sy who came to Nepal on a three-day visit also observed that it would be irresponsible not to anticipate such an eventuality and make necessary preparation.

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