May 5, 2015
The death toll from Nepal’s earthquake has now claimed 7,500 lives and still rising. Early predictions that the final count would eventually reach 10,000 seems ever more likely.
Of all the districts, the hardest hit is Sindhupalchowk. As of yesterday, the death toll the death toll has reached 3,656 with well over 4000 injured. According to field hospitals, spinal injuries and amputations are particularly high. A fresh landslide occurred on Friday in Dolalghat area, on the border of Sindhupalchowk and Kavre districts, triggering further panic in the already battered region. Roads have been ruptured by the quake, increasing the difficulty for rescuers and relief supplies to reach the remote areas.
Sindhupalchowk, a district endowed with immense natural beauty, is about 60 kms north from the capital city Kathmandu.
The quakes and subsequent aftershocks have destroyed approximately 90 per cent of the houses in Sindhupalchowk, according to a situation report released by the United Nation's humanitarian agency OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs).
A UN official visiting the district to monitor the situation said: "The local government officials themselves, are the victims of the quake, so how does one expect timely help?
Still, relief and is beginning to be seen. At least 200 bodies being recovered from Sindhupalchowk on a daily basis.
The district has a population of over 250,000 and international emergency response teams like the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF), besides other NGOs are providing the vital human link and compassionate touch amid the chaos.
MSF is sending mobile clinics in two helicopters and evacuating the critically injured, if needed.
The IFRC has supplied medical and non-food relied such as blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen-set and hygiene items among others for people in the far-flung area.
DDRC is busy collecting data of death toll using all the local level government mechanism, according to District Administration Office (DAO), Sindhupalchowk. Rescue teams consisting of Nepal Army, Armed Police Force and some foreign rescuers, including Norwegians, have been deployed for search and rescue operation.
Meanwhile, Police Inspector Rupak Khadka at District Police Office (DPO), Sindhupalchowk said that some 600 locals, who were in upper hills to pick yarshagumba at the time of earthquake, are still out of contact.
Also US choppers are beginning to make reconnaissance flights.
"Only the 'Hueys' (helicopters) have gone out so far for reconnaissance flights to try to identify areas in need of relief. No Ospreys have been out," a US embassy official told AFP on Monday.
The Ospreys and a US Air Force C-17 aircraft touched down in the capital Kathmandu on Sunday.
According to American ambassador Peter W. Bodde, besides assessments, the US units have two other aims: delivering relief supplies, and airlifting victims out of remote areas.
The report added that "the number of amputations has increased and the frequency seems to be accelerating".
Late Sunday climbing firms called off their Everest spring expeditions after a quake-triggered avalanche killed 18 on the world's highest peak.
Meanwhile, in Kathmandu, authorities say up to one-third of the city's residents have left since the quake. In the first days, bus stations were jammed with people fearing aftershocks or trying to get home to relatives in devastated villages.
Authorities do not know how many of those people have returned to the capital, but as of today people are still lining up and waiting for buses to leave.
Kathmandu police say nearly 900,000 people have left in the past 10 days. The population of Kathmandu valley — including the city of Kathmandu and smaller towns of Lalitpur and Bhaktapur — is 2.5 million people.
Life has been slowly returning to normal in Kathmandu. Schools are to remain closed until May 14 but some markets are open and trucks have been bringing in fresh food and vegetables every day, which is an encouraging sign.