The Nepal earthquake aftermath continues to mount, this after officials in the South Asian nation now report that more than 4,000 people have perished in its wake. Earlier reports offered a lower death toll, but figures of the dead and injured are expected to continue rising in coming days.
The Nepal earthquake occurred on Saturday (April 25), shaking the mountainous region with a 7.8-magnitude reading. The quake sparked a series of avalanches atop the nation’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, taking out international camping and climbing crews and destroying entire camp communities. While the global response in helping Nepal restore some sense of normalcy to the ravaged region has been swift, aftershocks in the area has disturbed some of the rescue and recovery efforts.
Rescue crews and aid groups are working to reach survivors — but their efforts are being hampered by the stricken areas’ remote locations. Roads that are drivable are clogged with traffic.
Officials warn the death toll could go much higher. The magnitude-7.8 quake has left nearly 1 million children in need of humanitarian aid, UNICEF says.
In one district, 400,000 people were affected by the quake and more than 4,000 homes are now unsafe to inhabit, NPR’s Julie McCarthy reports. From Kathmandu, Julie says many residents are both angry that more wasn’t done to reinforce Nepal’s structures against earthquakes and afraid that further tremors might bring more destruction.
“Until these aftershocks settle down, people will be terrified of them. News of them just consumes their conversations,” Julie tells Morning Edition. She adds, “People tell me they’re afraid even to go back into their homes to grab a blanket.”
Images of Nepal since the quake are devasting, and the capital city of Kathmandu is stretched thin with residents crowding the streets in makeshift tents and the like. Health officials are concerned that food and water will become scarce by the end of the week and could ignite a panic.
There were three American casualties, along with an Austrailian and Japanese national lost on Mount Everest.
Watch a video of the Nepal earthquake avalanche from German climber Jost Kobusch in the clip below. A warning: the video may be disturbing to some.
Photo: Jost Kobusch/The Guardian