2 May 2015

'No chance' of Nepal survivors

7:06 pm on 2 May 2015

Nepal's authorities have ruled out finding more survivors of last week's earthquake under the rubble, as the death toll rises to 6,621.

Members of the Nepal Red Cross look at a damaged building in Kathmandu.

Members of the Nepal Red Cross look at a damaged building in Kathmandu. Photo: PALANI MOHAN / IFRC / AFP

"We are trying our best in rescue and relief work but now I don't think that there is any possibility of survivors," Home Ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told AFP.

Nepal said 14,021 people were injured in the 7.9 magnitude quake on Saturday.

The fate of thousands of people in remote areas remains unknown.

The death toll could go up, as search and rescue efforts are still continuing in several hill districts including Dhading, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchok, relief co-ordinator Hemanta Pal said.

While the vast majority of casualties were in Nepal, about 100 people are reported to have died in neighbouring India, Tibet, and Bangladesh.

The EU envoy to Nepal, Rensje Teerink, said on Friday that the whereabouts of 1,000 EU citizens was still unknown.

Nepal has repeatedly called for more foreign help and humanitarian aid, admitting it was ill-prepared for the disaster.

Landslides and poor weather have hampered efforts to deliver aid to isolated districts, and there are only about 20 helicopters available for the rescue and relief operations.

Nepal's Finance Minister, Ram Sharan Mahat, said on Saturday the country is yet to receive tens of millions of dollars pledged by foreign donors.

"Not a single dollar has been deposited into government accounts," he said.

"So, I don't say that it will not come. It will take some time but as of now the government's entire operation is entirely funded by the government's own internal resources."

Unicef has also warned that children in the worst-affected areas have been left "homeless, in deep shock and with no access to basic care", with monsoon season just weeks away.

"Hospitals are overflowing, water is scarce, bodies are still buried under the rubble and people are still sleeping in the open. This is a perfect breeding ground for diseases," Rownak Khan, Unicef's deputy representative in Nepal, said.


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