— On the 9th day of April 25 earthquake, the official death toll crossed 7000 mark. The injured count has already crossed 14000 mark.
— A Swiss expert today said the death toll would reach around 26000. It can reach even 100,000. The expert called the Nepal ministers ignorant.
— Given the extent of damage so far and the severity of the quake, the figures quoted by the Swiss expert look within limits.
— The final figures, of dead, of injured, of displaced and homeless, are expected to be much higher than what we hear now. Dead and injured would run in many thousands and much higher. Displaced and homeless would be in millions.
— Its nine days already but there are remote towns and villages where relief is yet to reach. Bad weather, rains, poor infrastructure and a downed connectivity through roads and communication means are hampering relief work and delaying the aid teams’ access to such areas.
— Though there are no hopes of survivors now, miraculous stories of survival are still there, like three were pulled out of rubble alive after surviving eight days there or a 101-year old man was saved today.
— According to the Nepal police, overall 54 foreigners are killed. 38 of them are Indians. 82 are still missing while 48 are injured. The figures look quite conservative given other estimates that say around 1000 Europeans are still missing in Nepal or estimates that say there were around 300,000 foreigners in Nepal when the quake struck.
— The extent of damage would badly strain the impoverished nation. Nepal says, based on estimates so far, US$ 2 billion is needed. Independent experts including the experts talk of a much higher figure, around US$ 10 billion. The real cost of rehabilitation and reconstruction could be much higher than this. Moreover, it would be an act of coordinated efforts spread over the years.
— Nepal is getting overwhelming support from the world community with India leading the pack. Its Operation Maitri is working day and night, right and within few hours of the earthquake, to help people and the country. Nothing can suffice the loss of human lives but what Nepal is getting in response is beating all expectations. And Nepal’s global goodwill is playing a good role in it.
— Now, it is Nepal’s responsibility that it ensures uniformity in relief distribution. And that is not happening. People are complaining and protesting. They are clashing with Nepal’s officials for relief material. They allege that influential people are cornering the aid. They are also alleging that government is partial and insensitive. There are voices alleging that government is distributing aid to the families with dead members but is doing nothing for the families who have lost all but a family-member. A village just few Kms of Kathmandu has not received any aid so far even if no house is left there.
— The cities lying on highways through Kathmandu, one to India, and one to China, wear a deserted look. They look like ghost towns. Aid is slowly reaching them but is not enough.
— According to the United Nations, around 160,000 houses are completely gone and some 600,000 houses are significantly damaged. The UN says around 8 million people are affected from this earthquake and around 2 million immediately need food and water. UNICEF says around one million children need immediate assistance. The figures are bound to be higher than the UN estimates.
— With Monsoon approaching fast, Nepal is staring at another epidemic, after this earthquake, i.e., the one induced by diseases. There are not enough hospitals for patients. Government has said of immediate disposal of dead-bodies from rubble. Compromised sanitation and hygiene practices in tents in Kathmandu and across Nepal are giving rise to stench and are in urgent need of cleaning acts.
— Nepal continued to have aftershocks, avalanches and landslides. People continue to prefer open spaces. They are stressed and traumatized and continued aftershocks are forcing them to remain outside.
— Nepal today closed its main runway for big jets that include military planes, cargo aircrafts and large commercial aircrafts carrying aid material after it found the runway having cracks. Only medium sized runways are allowed. But the UN said that the logistics situation has improved on an overall basis.
— After the UN complained, Nepal eased customs duty on aid material. That have improved their availability (from till yesterday) to the intended population segments.
NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: UPDATES SO FAR – ON MAY 2
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/