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Earthquake: Toll Crosses 6000, Nepal PM Faces Ire Of Victims

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| April 30 , 2015 , 08:58 IST
Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was greeted with anger in relief camps four days after a devastating quake claimed over 6,000 lives. Authorities in the country are now facing the daunting task of tackling post-quake challenges like spread of diseases and rehabilitation. First Aid Reaches Remote Areas Meanwhile, the first supplies of food aid began reaching remote, earthquake-shattered mountain villages in Nepal, while thousands clamored to board buses out of Kathmandu, either to check on rural relatives or for fear of spending yet another night in the damaged capital. Helicopters finally brought food, temporary shelter and other aid to hamlets north of Kathmandu in the mountainous Gorkha District near the epicenter of Saturday's 7.8-magnitude quake. Entire clusters of homes there were reduced to piles of stone and splintered wood. Women greeted the delivery with repeated cries of "We are hungry!" While the death toll in the village of Gumda was low — only five people were killed and 20 were injured among 1,300 residents — most had lost their homes and desperately needed temporary shelter, along with the 40-kilogram (90-pound) sacks of rice that were delivered Wednesday. Adding to residents' misery was the rain that has fallen periodically since the quake and hampered helicopter aid flights. The U.N. World Food Program warned that it will take time for food and other supplies to reach more remote communities that have been cut off by landslides. Protests In The Capital In capital Kathmandu, people vented their anger when the Prime Minister visited their camps to assess relief work and complained that they were not getting any aid. Koirala told them that he had come to see for himself the difficult situation Nepal is faced with and assured them that help would reach them at the earliest. Anger spilled over to the streets with people seizing food and water supplies. Frustration over the slow delivery of humanitarian aid boiled over in a protest in the city, with about 200 people facing off with police and blocking traffic. People, who have been staying in the open with no houses to return to and fearing more devastation from aftershocks, clashed with police and seized water-bottles and other essential supplies. Frayed tempers were also witnessed at the main bus station here where quake victims had gathered to get out of Kathmandu but the promised buses failed to arrive. Scuffles broke out between angry crowds and the riot police which arrived there to control the situation. Over 6,000 bodies have so far been pulled out from under mounds of debris and rubble left by razed homes and buildings in Saturday's 7.8-magnitude temblor, Deputy Prime Minister Bam Dev Gautam said. On Tuesday, Koirala had said the toll could reach 10,000 because information from the affected remote villages is yet to come. More than 11,000 people have been injured in the quake, the worst in over 80 years. Rescuers are still struggling to reach remote mountainous areas in the Himalayan nation, where relief efforts have been hampered by heavy rain and landslide even as global help poured in. India To Focus On Kathmandu And Gorkha Districts India said it is focusing on Kathmandu and the worst-affected Gorkha district for its rescue and relief efforts in the quake-hit country. "India has focused its assistance in two parts of Nepal. The first one is the capital, Kathmandu, and the second one is Gorkha district which was epicentre of the earthquake," Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said. Over 500 personnel from NDRF are currently in Nepal to carry out the rescue operations. Till now, 15 Indians have died in the earthquake in Nepal. Dinesh Bhattarai, Foreign Affairs Advisor to Nepal Prime Minister said, "We are grateful to them (India) for their help on this crisis hour. A friend in need is a friend indeed." While many villages across Nepal are still waiting for rescue and relief teams, life in the capital, Kathmandu, is slowly returning to normal. Municipal workers today began cleaning the streets. (With Agency Inputs)

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