Kathmandu/New Delhi, Apr 27 : Handicapped by shortage of equipment and numerous aftershocks rescue workers continue to struggle to recover bodies as the official death toll from Saturday’s devastating earthquake comes close to 3,700 and threatens to mount further.
Nepal police said in a statement Monday that the country’s death toll had risen to 3,617 people. That number does not include the 18 people confirmed dead in an avalanche that swept through the Mount Everest base camp following the 7.8 magnitude tremor.
Another 66 people were killed in neighboring India while China reported that 20 people had died in Tibet.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of homeless families slept on the streets of the capital, Kathmandu, for a second consecutive night on Sunday. Kathmandu district chief administrator Ek Narayan Aryal has been quoted as saying that tents and water are being given at 10 locations in Kathmandu.
Officials in Nepal said there have been nearly 100 earthquakes and aftershocks, which is making rescue work difficult. “Even the rescuers are scared and running because of them,” media reports quoted them as saying.
At 4:02:35 hrs IST, another ‘slight’ tremor,measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale, has hit Nepal, the India Meteorological Department website said.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said more than 2500 Indians have been evacuated from earthquake-hit Nepal.
“More than 2500 Indians have been evacuated from Nepal and arrangements are being for the rest to reach here,” Singh said in the Parliament.
He said 72 people have died in the quake in India.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu said evacuation of Indians from the earthquake-hit country will continue on Monday.
“14 civilian flights-7 schleduled, 7 special to operate today from Kathmandu to Delhi @MEAIndia #nepalearthquake,” the embassy tweeted.
“Buses from Pokhra to Raxaul and Kathmandu to Gorakhpur will also evacuate Indian citizens @meaindia #nepalearthquake,” it said.
Saluting the resilience of the people of Nepal and India at the hours of disaster, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday ‘thanked’ all those who stood beside the earthquake victims.
“To all those saying #ThankYouPM- appreciate the sentiment…real thanks should be to our great culture, which teaches us ‘Seva Parmo Dharma’.If we want to thank anyone, it should be the 125 crore people of India who have made Nepal’s pain their own & extended all help.”
He said: “We must thank our armed forces, NDRF teams, doctors & all those volunteers who are overcoming every obstacle to restore normalcy in Nepal.We owe a big thanks to the enthusiastic youngsters who are mobilising contributions for relief work be it cash, resources & medicines etc,” he said.
Thanking the state government for their cooperation, Modi said: “The immense co-operation between Centre & the States is a major asset in times like these. A big thanks to all State Governments.”
“And above all, we salute the resilience of our sisters & brothers in Nepal & parts of India, for their courage in the face of disaster,” he said.