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Nepal quake: Appeal for helicopters as desperation mounts

nepal-earthquake-aerial-photose-News® | The NEWS Company…Nepal, May 01, 2015 : Nepal has appealed for countries to provide more aircraft for its relief effort as reports continue to emerge of desperate survivors in remote villages. Fights have broken out with victims demanding to be evacuated and not enough space on board helicopters. Nepal says 6,204 people are known to have died in the 7.8-magnitude quake and 13,932 were injured.  But the fate of thousands more in many remote areas remains unknown.  The government has warned that the death toll could rise to more than 10,000.

One thousand EU citizens remain unaccounted for in the quake that hit during the height of the trekking season, the EU ambassador to Nepal, Rensje Teerink, told reporters. Relief and rescue teams have reached most areas but many people remain in urgent need. At Kathmandu’s historic Durbar Square, soldiers and volunteers form human chains to remove the debris, brick by brick.  The bricks come from temples and other historic buildings levelled by the earthquake. Many are very old and are being stored so that they can be used to rebuild these ancient sites.

The soldiers are joined by aid workers – but also tourists. One French visitor said she “just wanted to help”. But it’s an ad hoc approach which characterises the entire relief operation.  I met rescue and medical teams from France and China. After wandering around they left. “We don’t know what we are supposed to be doing,” one French rescue worker told me.  Their services are required in the remote villages where many are in urgent need of assistance – but they are stuck here in the capital because no-one is telling them what to do.

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Rajowan Syed

Rajowan Syed

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