Nepal Earthquake & Aftershocks Leave 3,700 Dead As Relief Efforts Struggle To Reach Remote Areas
Saturday's devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal and the aftershocks in the days following have put a country on alert and its people in fear. The death toll rose to 3,218 people on Monday, according to Nepal authorities, and nearly 6,000 have been injured. These numbers will likely rise as relief efforts continue in the capital city of Kathmandu and attempt to reach the surrounding area. More tragic news is expected from the countryside, whose small villages have been largely inaccessible by roads due to the landslides and destroyed infrastructure. (Update: The death toll has now risen to over 3,800.)
At least 18 people have been confirmed dead in an avalanche on Mount Everest that followed the quake, authorities said. In nearby India, another 61 people died. China said 20 people were killed in Tibet.
International rescue teams with supplies began touching down in Kathmandu on Monday. Equipment included cutting gear and sniffer dogs to help detect survivors under rubble and debris, Agence France-Presse reported. But overwhelming number of aftershocks have made relief efforts difficult to carry out, Kathmandu District Chief Administrator Ek Narayan Aryal told the Associated Press. A 6.7-magnitude tremor struck 40 miles east of Kathmandu Sunday afternoon, causing another avalanche on Everest that swept across the base camp.
There have been nearly 100 earthquakes and aftershocks, which is making rescue work difficult. Even the rescuers are scared and running because of them.
Landslides have also prevented rescue teams from using mountain roads. The AP said aid groups received their first reports from remote villages, which suggested people there were struggling with handling the earthquake's aftermath. These distant communities would likely need to be accessed by helicopter, authorities said.
But for those who survived in Kathmandu, the tourist-friendly city that suffered the most deaths, injuries, and damage has transformed into a tent encampment. Tens of thousands of people spent the night in the streets, having set up makeshift homes in the open where they felt safer. The earthquake is Nepal's deadliest in 80 years.
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