Nepalese death toll could rise to 10000

29 April 2015 - 02:03 By Reuters, Nivashni Nair, AFP and BDLive

People stranded in remote villages and towns across Nepal were still waiting for help to arrive yesterday, four days after an earthquake destroyed buildings and roads and killed more than 5000 people. The government has yet to assess the full extent of the damage wrought by Saturday's 7.9-magnitude quake, and is unable to reach many mountainous areas as aid supplies and personnel pour in from around the world.A South African police search-and-rescue team will join a Gift of the Givers crew helping in Nepal. The police team includes four dogs.The team was due to fly to Nepal from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport yesterday afternoon.Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said the death toll could reach 10000 as information about destruction from far-flung villages and towns has yet to come in."The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing," Koirala said. "It is a very difficult hour for Nepal."Military planes from numerous countries such as the US, China and Israel have joined the rescue effort.Koirala late yesterday declared three days of national mourning for the 5057 people known to have perished in Nepal alone.More than 100 people died in neighbouring countries such as India and China.Around 8000 people had been injured and the UN estimates that about 8million have been affected, many of them facing starvation.Among the dead were 18 climbers and guides, including four foreigners, who were at a Mount Everest base camp when an avalanche triggered by the quake flattened everything in its path.Two Pietermaritzburg advocates who were missing in Nepal have made contact with their families.Shane Matthews, 59, and his 46-year-old fiancée, Elsje Bezuidenhout, were travelling from the north-eastern town of Namche Bazaar to Lukla when the earthquake struck.Bezuidenhout's brother, Eben Strydom, said yesterday that his sister had made contact with her family."We have just heard from my sister! They are unhurt but badly shaken up. They are currently stuck in Lukla." ..

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