Nepal earthquake: Rescue mission on as death toll climbs over 1,800; 4,721 injured - Alternative Media Forum


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Saturday, 25 April 2015

Nepal earthquake: Rescue mission on as death toll climbs over 1,800; 4,721 injured

Kathmandu(web team): Death toll in Nepal due to the devastating earthquake that hit the country, today rose to 1,807 with over 1,000 casualties in Kathmandu Valley alone.

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake jolted the Himalayan nation yesterday followed by several aftershocks and left a trail of death and destruction, flattening houses and buildings, including the iconic Dharhara tower and the landmark Darbar Square in the heart of the capital. Death toll in the quake has climbed to 1,807 while the number of injured has gone up to 4,721, according to a spokesperson of the Home Ministry.

Ten Mt. Everest climbers were also killed in an avalanche triggered by the earthquake. The calamity is said be the worst in over 80 years of Nepal's recorded history.

Two Indians, including the daughter of an Indian embassy employee, were among those killed in the powerful earthquake, an Indian embassy official said. A house in the Indian Embassy complex collapsed, killing the daughter of a CPWD employee. Death of another Indian was reported at Bir Hospital here.

Nearly 550 Indians have been evacuated by the IAF from earthquake-hit Nepal even as India stepped up its relief and rescue mission with 10 flights and 12 helicopters scheduled to carry specialists and equipment to Kathmandu today.

08:30 IST Saturday, 25 April 2015

India rushes to offer immediate relief assistance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has visited Nepal twice in his premiership, himself sat at the helm of affairs for stock taking and guiding the rescue efforts by chairing a high-level, crisis management meeting. The meeting was attended by union ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh, national security advisor Ajit Doval, principal secretary Nripendra Misra, additional principal secretary PK Mishra and senior officials from IMD and NDRF.

By 8:30pm, four Indian Air Force transport planes — one C 31-J Super Hercules and two C-17 Globe Master, the biggest transport planes India has — had left for Kathmandu with at least 250 specialised National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and over 100 tonne of relief and rescue material.

The fourth plane, which left at 8:30pm from Hindon airbase near Delhi, carried a fully-equipped mobile hospital with a rapid action medical team comprising of nearly 30 doctors, including orthopedics, medicines and medical equipment. The plane will put in place a fully air-conditioned, 25-bed hospital with state-of-the-art facilities and highly skilled medical personnel to assist rescued people.

Not ready to leave anything to chance, the defence ministry readied its fourth, C-130 plane to take the rest of the necessary equipment to Kathmandu. This plane was to take-off at 9:30pm.

The earthquake hit around 11:56 am with epicentre at Lamjung, around 80 kilometres northwest of Kathmandu, had its impact in several cities of Bihar, West Bengal and UP, and tremors were felt across vast stretches of east and northeast India. It was also felt in Southern and Western parts of India, China, Bhutan and as far as Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Several buildings, most of them old, in the densely- populated Kathmandu Valley collapsed, killing hundreds. Over 200 bodies have been retrieved from the debris of two-century old nine-storey landmark Dharhara tower in the centre of the capital. Kathmandu's Darbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was completely damaged in the quake which was the worst to hit Nepal and surrounding regions after the earthquake of 8.4 magnitude which occurred along the Nepal-Bihar border in 1934.

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