— Death toll in Nepal has crossed the 5000 mark. Injured count over 10,000. The final figure, as expected, is to be in many thousands – of dead – of injured.
— India has reported 72 deaths, China has 25.
— Most affected districts in Nepal – Kathmandu, Pokhara, Lalitpur (Patan), Lamjung, Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Bhaktapur, Rasuwa, Dhading, Langtang, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Kavre, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Parsa, Bara, Saptari, Dhanusha.
— Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur have lost many temples and heritage sites. Kathmandu’s Darbar Square and Gorkha’s Gorkha Durbar have been hit badly.
— Millions were displaced and left homeless. Their rehabilitation is a priority but public frustration is growing. Relief is not reaching to them as expected.
— Rescue and relief efforts are proving difficult to carry out, especially in remote towns and villages. Many of them are still out of reach. Teams are facing problems of logistics with cracked roads and dysfunctional power and communication lines.
— Nepal’s small and chaotic airport is proving to be a problem. It is inundated with people, and with relief material and is facing logistical problems in managing them. People are rushing to go out of Nepal while support from the world community has created a sort of mismanagement at the airport.
— Nepal, due to its goodwill, is getting overwhelming response from the world community. India, Nepal’s neighbour, the only country with direct road access to the country, is playing the role of big brother with its ‘Operation Maitri’, helping Nepal in every respect. It is helping in rescue, relief and reconnaissance efforts in Kathmandu, in Everest base camp area and in other quake affected regions. It is expected to play a big role in rehabilitation and reconstruction work. It is airlifting people and trying to open up more roads to the country to carry more people to this side of India-Nepal border and heavy equipments needed to that side of the border. Indian Army has established a camp in Pokhara, Nepal’s second largest district, to coordinate the operations. The international community, including China, Pakistan, US, UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, etc., and different aid agencies including the UN are there with helping hands.
— Stormy weather with warnings of heavy to very heavy rains are affecting rescue and relief work. Whenever rains happen, efforts to reach and help people across the affected region come to a virtual standstill.
— Electricity was restored in some parts of Kathmandu with help of India.
— Though there was no major earthquake today, Nepal continue to experience aftershocks.
— People continue to stay in the open – in Kathmandu and across Nepal. Kathmandu looks like a refugee camps with many tents, open hospitals and relief centres.
— According to the UN estimates, some 8 million are affected and many of Nepal’s cities look like ghost towns. It is revised and up from an earlier UN estimate of 6.6 million quake-affected people. According to the revised estimates, 39 of 75 Nepal districts are earthquake affected. 11 of these are severely damaged.
— Around 20 bodies are recovered from Mount Everest base camps. Some reports say 18. The final figure is yet not available. Scores are still missing. Some reports say them to be around 200, some 400. Dozens are saved from the way up and the area surrounding Everest base camps. The way up from Tibet side, in China, the northern side, is closed. The southern side, from Nepal, the popular one, is devastated. Everest climbing season this spring is virtually over with it.
— Nepal’s deputy PM said the rescue efforts were over and it was the time for rehabilitation work even if the reconnaissance work was not yet complete.
— Also, petty politics, though to a smaller extent, is at play. Nepal has rejected Taiwanese offer of help. There are reports of China expressing displeasure on India, choppers flying near China’s border. Also, there are reports of skirmishes between Indian R&R teams and Nepal’s defence forces.
— Different estimates say different things and will continue to say so. The impact of this earthquake on Nepal’s economy is severe. Nepal and global agencies are already assessing the damage. If we believe the US Geological Survey estimates, the damage could be to the extent of around $US 10 billion. IHS Global, a US based firm, estimates Nepal needs $US 5 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction works.
— Remittances form around 30% of the GDP while tourism’s share is 8%. This 38% also helps Nepal to work on its unemployment problem, that is as huge as 50% according to some estimates. In the aftermath of Nepal quake, the sectors are going to be hit badly, affecting thus Nepal’s economy badly.
NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: UPDATES SO FAR – ON APRIL 27
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/