— The death toll in Nepal has crossed the 4000 mark. It is expected to be in many thousands. The severity of a strong earthquake is revealing itself with each passing hour. The reconnaissance efforts are now reaching to the remote areas assessing the damage.
— Roads are broken. Cracks are wide and open. Rubble and debris have taken over the roads of cities. Access to places (villages and town) are coming in bits. Maximum reports available are from Kathmandu and the valley surrounding it. Agencies involved in rescue and relief efforts are now trying to reach other locations with help of choppers and aids.
— People are staying out and need blankets. Fear is universal psychosis there and that is natural after such a massive earthquake, the one after 1934. Aid teams are working to provide them relief while rescuing the trapped ones. Taking out people trapped and bodies from rubble are tough tasks and will take time. Already, there are more than 6500 injured. UNICEF says around 1 million children are in urgent need of help and thus we can imagine the count of homeless and displaced adults by this calamity.
— Rescue and relief agencies are working with power generators, engineers, medicinal supplies, doctors, earthquake relief personnel, buses, aircrafts and helicopters, radars, equipments, food material, water, daily-usage supplies, satellite equipments, etc., to help people in distress.
— Countries are evacuating their people stranded in Nepal. The figure for India, with historical and religious ties with Nepal, has already crossed over 2000 mark. Many countries have asked India for help. India is airlifting the stranded people there as well as is working to clear the roads to transport people through road-routes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The government of Uttar Pradesh has set up four camps at India-Nepal border for the victims.
— In India, the death toll has already reached 72 with Bihar registering maximum number – 56. Uttar Pradesh has registered 13, West Bengal 3 and Rajasthan 1. China has said that its Tibet region has 20 people dead in earthquake incidents so far.
— Kathmandu airport (or Tribhuvan International Airport) remains a scene of chaos. Many people are waiting there to be evacuated but operations are not regular. Needy people are being given preference. At the moment, though the airport is now open, there is so much aid material is at the airport that it is hampering with the flight operations.
— Earthquakes and tremors have continued in Nepal. Two major earthquakes were on day-1, Saturday. The first one at 11:56 AM local time with a magnitude 7.8 was the severest one in country’s history after the 1934 earthquake of Nepal-Bihar. The landlocked nation faced another earthquake, measuring 6.6, at 12:30 PM on Saturday. Quakes followed many aftershocks that are expected to continue for days, and if we believe the comments of the scientific experts, may continue even for months and years. There are quakes and aftershocks yesterday and today. In India, Bihar and West Bengal faced another earthquake this evening. Its epicentre was in Mirik and it was measured at 5.1.
— India, being the country with direct road connectivity to Nepal and bigger role on global stage has strategic interests in the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reignited the ties and India is at forefront of the rescue and relief operations. It is also engaged in reconnaissance mission to assess the damage. Indian Army is conducting Operation Maitri to help in the landlocked nation in this hour of help. Over two dozen aircrafts have been put in service and many are on standby. Relief material and personnel are already there and more are being sent. Still more are on standby. India is also helping other countries, along with its own people, evacuating them as the situation is permitting. So far, over 2000 Indians have been evacuated from Nepal. Foreign nationals who are placing their requests are being issued free visas to their country via India.
— Indian Prime Minister and senior ministers are monitoring the R&R efforts. They are holding meetings every day. A team of senior officials from different ministries landed in Nepal today to coordinate with rescue and relief efforts.
— Nepal is strategically important, not just for India, but for Pakistan and China as well. Yes, it is driven by the crisis of the hour, and these two countries, along with other countries from the world community, aid agencies, NGOs and the United Nations are engaged in rescue and relief efforts in Nepal.
— Countries have started issuing travel advisories. Nepal, many parts of India and the affected regions of Himalaya are expected the face the results. USA, UK and Australia have advised their citizens to avoid Nepal in the near future. Darjeeling, Sikkim and Northeast India are expected to be affected from the resulting events.
— Kathmandu is destroyed beyond recognition. Very few buildings there can withstand an earthquake of this measure. Many localities are entirely wiped out. Many heritage structures are totally lost. Most of the buildings have suffered cracks and other damages.
— Overall, according to the United Nations, 6.6 million Nepalis are affected. Reports say Gorkhadistrict is hardest hit.
— In other parts of Nepal, with passing hours, the rescue teams are reaching and the extent of damage thus is widening its ambit every hour. Entire villages, be of 200, of 500, of 100, or 1500, or so, have been destroyed in the quake. Here, the number may be variable but death is a constant word. A report said the entire villagenear Lamjung, the epicentre of 7.8 quake, is totally destroyed leaving a trail of dead bodies. When the Nepali government is not able to help people in Kathmandu, we can imagine the plight of people in remote areas and towns.
— Avalanches, consequent to earthquakes, have killed 17 so far in the Mount Everest area, the world’s peak. According to the same report, the plans of over 300 to ascent the peak have been put on hold. South side of base camps are badly hit in avalanches. The way to the peak from China, the less popular one, has also been blocked for the time-being.
NEPAL EARTHQUAKE: SO FAR, ON APRIL 26
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/