Nepal quake toll 1800, but may rise further | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Nepal quake toll 1800, but may rise further

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The Nepal government urged nations to send aid and braced for the toll to rise after rescuers overnight were hampered by strong aftershocks, blocked highways and a lack of equipment. People used their hands in many places to dig for survivors.Authorities also scrambled to provide shelter in the capital, Kathmandu, for thousands of people who spent the night outside in freezing temperatures and patchy rain, too afraid to return to their damaged homes.At daybreak on Sunday, people milled about in parks and streets strewn with rubble. The 7.9 magnitude quake struck at midday on Saturday at a busy time of year for the tourism-reliant country’s trekking and climbing season, with an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in the country.The government planned to pitch tents and turn schools and other public buildings into shelters, said Rameshwor Dangal, a home ministry official. It would also re-open roads and send helicopters to rescue people.Nepal’s home ministry put the death toll at 1,805, with about 4,700 injured. At least 300 had been killed in the capital, a city of about 1 million people where homes are often old, flimsy and packed close together.Rescue workers worked through the night using bulldozers, pick axes and shovels to free those who were trapped.Foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides around Mount Everest were caught by the tremors and a huge avalanche.John Reiter, speaking to CNN from Everest base camp, said dozens were critically injured but said he expected helicopters to arrive. “It’s been a rough 18 hours,” he said.Hospitals across the impoverished nation of 28 million people struggled to cope with its worst quake in 81 years. They expected a fresh influx of patientson Sunday but medical supplies were running low.Kathmandu’s Bir Hospital had received 300 to 350 patients with serious injuries through Saturday, and most of them died, said paramedic Dinesh Chaudhary. He said the hospital was procuring medicines from shops outside.”There will be many more patients coming in tomorrow because only a very small part of the debris has been cleared,” he said.

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