Nepal Earthquake Death Tolls Differ Due To The Difficult Mountain Terrain & Remoteness of Many Villages

The massive earthquake that left large parts of Nepal in ruins Saturday is known to have killed thousands, but the exact number of deaths is still unclear. Various organizations have reported different death toll numbers for the Nepal earthquake, ranging from 3,000 to 3,800 as of Monday afternoon. Because the damage of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was so widespread and parts of Nepal are so remote, it will take the government and rescue teams some time before an exact count can be determined. In an already mountainous terrain, landslides and other obstacles caused by the quake have blocked roads, making it more difficult than usual to reach certain areas struck by the disaster.

On Monday night, Nepalese authorities announced that the death toll was more than 3,800 people, according to The New York Times. BBC News reported that 3,617 people were believed to be dead, according to the police. On the other hand, the United Nations has said that the earthquake killed more than 3,000 people, which is 800 less than the Nepalese authorities have counted. Two days after the catastrophe, it's still impossible to know the full extent of the damage and lives lost in the small western Asian country.

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The earthquake devastated a large portion of central Nepal, from Mount Everest to the capital of Kathmandu. Rescue teams and aid have arrived from all over the world, but the mountainous area made worse by landslides and blocked roads makes certain places inaccessible for the time being. Udav Prashad Timalsina, the top official in Gorkha district, told the Associated Press that the region was in desperate need of help. "Things are really bad in the district, especially in remote mountain villages,” Timalsina told the Associated Press by telephone. He said that 223 people were confirmed dead in the district, but that he expects the number to increase because of the large amount of residents injured. The National Emergency Operation Center believes there are more than 6,500 people across Nepal injured by the earthquake.

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Matt Darvas, a spokesman for the aid agency World Vision, told BBC:

Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it's not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls.

Until search and rescue teams can reach every small village tucked into the mountains of Nepal, the exact number of deaths from the earthquake will remain unknown, but as of Monday afternoon, every organization agrees that the death toll is currently more than 3,000.

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