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Nepal quake death toll crosses 5000-mark

KATHMANDU: The number of people killed in Nepal by the Himalayan country’s worst earthquake in eight decades has risen to 5,057, a home ministry official said on Wednesday.

That number represented a jump of 300 from earlier on Wednesday. Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters on Tuesday the toll from the 7.9 magnitude quake could reach 10,000.

Tensions rise in Nepal after ‘weak’ response to deadly quake

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Nepal four days ago passed 5,000 today as officials conceded they had made mistakes in their initial response, leaving survivors stranded in remote villages waiting for aid and relief.

Over 200 Nepalis protested outside parliament in the capital Kathmandu, demanding the government increase the number of buses going to the interior hills and improve distribution of aid. “I haven’t been able to contact my family members in the village,” said Kayant Panday, one of the protesters, who said he woke up at 4 a.m. to get a bus to a badly hit area but was not able to get one. “There is no way I can get information whether they are dead or alive.” The government has yet to fully assess the devastation wrought by Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake, unable to reach many mountainous areas despite aid supplies and personnel pouring in from around the world.

–KEY FACTS–

Death toll

– 5,057 people are known to have died in Nepal alone – Another 8,000 were injured – 18 climbers died at Mount Everest base camp when the quake sparked an avalanche – Two Americans, an Australian, a Japanese and a Chinese national were among the victims on the mountain – 74 people were killed in India – In China, 25 lost their lives, according to the ministry of civil affairs in Tibet

Survivors

– The United Nations estimates that eight million people have been affected – 1.3 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN

– Some 1.4 million people require emergency food aid, the World Food Programme says

 

Aid

– Dozens of countries from around the world have rushed to pledge money. The most significant sums include:

– $15 million from the UN’s emergency fund

– $15 million total contributed by Britain

– $10 million pledged by the United States – $8.4 million from Japan, according to local media – And $4.7 million from Australia  

Reconstruction

– The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates 530,000 houses were damaged – Another 70,000 were destroyed, OCHA said – The UN agency said that up to 90 percent of health facilities in four districts were severely damaged

– Some 16,000 schools were damaged, according to OCHA

– Business research IHS estimates that reconstruction costs could top $5 billion or around 20 percent of the country’s GDP. – Agencies

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