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Quake death toll could reach 10,000, says Nepal Prime Minister

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Heavy rain holds up rescue operations, three-day national mourning declared.

After a day of relative calm and good weather on Monday, the city of Kathmandu once again faces an uncertain battle in its recovery from a devastating earthquake as heavy rain on Tuesday held up rescue and retrieval operations.



Though the Armed Police Force (APF) is now being assisted by teams from China and India, its officers are concerned that if bodies are not recovered in time from collapsed buildings, an epidemic will break out in the city.



“We are working as fast as we can and our response teams are moving from place to place but there is still a lot of work to do. Besides recovering the bodies, we believe that there may still be some survivors buried under all that rubble,” says one APF commander.



Prime Minister Sushil Koirala declared a three-day national mourning in memory of those killed.



Addressing the nation, Mr. Koirala said the government was according top priority to rescue, search for the missing, and treatment of the injured.



He promised to rebuild the historical, cultural, archaeological and religious monuments destroyed in the earthquake.



The death toll reached over 4,700 and the number of injured over 9,000, said police. Some reports said more bodies could be found in villages that are yet to be visited by rescue teams.



Earlier, the Prime Minister told Reuters that the death toll could go up to 10,000.







Rain stalls rescue work in Nepal

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A selection of images capturing the extent of damage




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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:59:15 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/earthquake-toll-could-reach-10000-nepal-prime-minister-sushil-koirala/article7150200.ece

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