Earthquake in Nepal Day 5: Death toll rises to 5,093; Angry protestors clash with police in Kathmandu

By: |
Kathmandu | Updated: Apr 29, 2015 5:48 PM

Earthquake in Nepal: In another sign of life inching back to normal, banks in Kathmandu opened for few hours Wednesday and stuffed their ATMs with cash

Earthquake in NepalNepalese police personnel try to stop earthquake victims from blocking traffic along a road as they protest against the government’s lack of aid provided to the victims in Kathmandu, Nepal April 29, 2015. (Reuters)

4 p.m: Nepalese rescue helicopters are taking advantage of breaks in the rain to bring out the injured from remote mountain villages where aid is only beginning to trickle in, four days after the massive earthquake.

A rescue mission on Wednesday landed in the village of Darkha, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of the capital, Kathmandu, and unloaded boxes of relief aid supplies. Nepalese soldiers disembarked and carried back on a stretcher the 69-year-old Ek Bahadur Thapa and others in need of treatment.

He suffered leg injuries and has had to wait for medical care since Saturday’s earthquake.

Earthquake in NepalGanesh Giri, 36, mourns next to his wife’s body after it was recovered by the rescue team from a collapsed building, after Saturday’s earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal April 29, 2015. (Reuters)

The government says more than 10,000 people are in need to medical attention.

3:00 p.m: The first 44 Spaniards who were stranded in Nepal have returned home on an air force plane with Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo accompanying them.

The group is the first of some 127 to be evacuated by the government. About 500 Spaniards were affected by the earthquake and 103 have yet to be located. More than 20 were able to return by their own means.

A second Spanish plane is due to bring back another group of Spaniards as well as other European and Latin American citizens later Wednesday.

Earthquake in NepalNepalese police personnel try to stop earthquake victims from blocking traffic along a road as they protest against the government’s lack of aid provided to the victims in Kathmandu, Nepal April 29, 2015. (AP)

The quake occurred while Margallo was on an official visit to New Delhi.

2:30 p.m: In another sign of life inching back to normal, banks in Kathmandu opened for few hours Wednesday and stuffed their ATMs with cash. At the Standard Chartered Bank in the city, people are lining up.

”I needed money in cash so I can take my family out of Kathmandu. I want to be out of here for at least a few days,” said Suraj Shrestha.

Also See: Earthquake in Nepal: After the devastation, the agony (Photos)

He wasn’t sure if ATMs outside the city were dispensing cash and wanted to carry ”as much as possible.”

Earthquake in NepalWounded are lying on the floor and survivors of Saturday’s earthquake sit inside a C-17 Globemaster-III military plane evacuating injured and stranded Indian’s from Kathmandu to New Delhi during a midnight rescue mission by Indian Air Force in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (AP)

12:20 pm: Rescuers raced against time to search for survivors still feared trapped under mountains of debris in quake-hit Nepal where over 5,000 people have been killed, even as heavy rains hampered global humanitarian efforts in remote areas of the battered country.

12:05 p.m: About 200 people have blocked traffic in Kathmandu to protest the slow pace of aid delivery.

The protesters faced off with police and there were minor scuffles but no arrests were made.

One protester says they haven’t received any relief.

”We are hungry, we haven’t had anything to drink. We haven’t been able to sleep. I have a 7-year-old child who is sleeping in the open. It’s getting cold and people are getting pneumonia,” he said.

Earthquake in nepalNepal military personnel throw a box of relief supplies onto a truck at the Gorkha district office following Saturday’s earthquake, in Gorkha, Nepal April 29, 2015. (Reuters)

He accused the government of not doing enough.

The death toll has climbed to 5,093 and more than 8 million people have been affected.

11:55 a.m: Police in Nepal say the death toll from Saturday’s earthquake has topped 5,000.

The Kathmandu police say 4,989 have died and another 10,260 people have been injured in Nepal.

The quake that was centered just outside Kathmandu also triggered an avalanche that killed at least 18 people at the Everest base camp.

Another 61 were killed in neighboring India and Bangladesh, and China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported 25 dead in Tibet.

Earthquake in nepalLocal volunteers from the Bhaktapur district Red Cross chapter walk past damaged buildings following an earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 28, 2015. (Reuters)

11:40 a.m: Police have arrested dozens of people on suspicion of looting abandoned homes as well as causing panic by spreading rumors of another big quake.

Police official Bigyan Raj Sharma says 27 have been detained for stealing from homes whose owners moved out following Saturday’s quake and powerful aftershocks.

The aftershocks have waned but people are still anxious, many preferring to stay out in the open. Sharma says another four people were arrested for spreading false rumors of an impending quake through social media and text messages.

11:30 a.m: The number of people killed in Nepal by the Himalayan country’s worst earthquake in eight decades has risen to 5,006, a home ministry official said on Wednesday.

Earthquake in nepalSurvivors of Saturday’s earthquake hold on to a cable as a military takes off with evacuees from Kathmandu to New Delhi during a midnight rescue mission by Indian Air Force, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (AP)

That number represented a jump of 300 from earlier on Wednesday. Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters on Tuesday the toll from the 7.9 magnitude quake could reach 10,000.

11:00 a.m: The first aid shipments have reached Dhading district, close to the epicenter of the devastating earthquake in Nepal.

U.N. food agency emergency officer Geoff Pinnock says the distribution in remote quake-hit villages will start Wednesday, but cautions it would take time.

”Remember Katrina. It doesn’t happen overnight,” he said.

Earthquake in NepalChildren peer out of makeshift shelter in destroyed village of Paslang near the epicenter of Saturday’s massive earthquake in the Gorkha District of Nepal, Tuesday, April 28, 2015. (AP)

In Gorkha, the neighboring district to the west, five cargo trucks filled with rice, cooking oil and sugar stood on a grassy field in Majuwa village waiting for a helicopter from Kathmandu to take the supplies to the hardest-hit areas of that district.

The World Food Program also expects the delivery of high-energy biscuits, which will be send out to areas without enough water for cooking.

10:30 a.m: A man pulled from the rubble of a collapsed building in Kathmandu more than three days after the deadly Nepal earthquake says he drank his own urine to survive.

Rishi Khanal tells AP that he had given up all hope of rescue as his lips cracked and his nails turned white. There were dead bodies around him and a terrible smell. But he kept banging on the rubble all around him and eventually this brought a French rescue team that extracted him after an operation lasting many hours.

Earthquake in nepalA boy who was injured during an earthquake is comforted by his mother at a hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 29, 2015. (Reuters)

He’s now being treated for leg injuries at a hospital in the capital the day after French rescuers found him and brought him out from a collapsed hotel. He had been buried for 82 hours.

9:15 a.m: While many villages across Nepal are still waiting for rescue and relief teams, life in the capital, Kathmandu, is slowly returning to normal.

Municipal workers on Wednesday began cleaning the streets, and the ”kalimati bazaar” – the vegetable market – has reopened. Before first light, truckloads of fresh produce were unloaded and customers began to arrive.

9:00 a.m: Britain in sending additional 30 medics to treat the injured and heavy lifting equipment to move aid supplies off aircraft and ease congestion at Kathmandu airport.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening says the additional support brings the total U.K. response to the earthquake to 15 million pounds ($23 million).

8:00 a.m: Thousands of people are lining up at bus stations in Kathmandu where the government is providing free transportation for people hoping to travel to their hometowns and villages. The government has even deployed school buses to supplement the overstretched service.

Many of the people from other districts who work in the capital have received little news of their families and loved ones since Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 temblor, which killed more than 4,700 people and devastated the infrastructure including communication lines.

Others are simply scared of staying on so close to the quake’s epicenter.

”I am hoping to get on a bus, any bus heading out of Kathmandu. I am too scared to be staying in Kathmandu. The house near my rented apartment collapsed. It was horrible. I have not gone indoors in many days. I would rather leave than a live life of fear in Kathmandu,” said Raja Gurung, who was leaving for his home in the mountains of west Nepal.

Suresh Sah, a construction worker from southern Nepal, said that when the quake hit, ”the first thing I thought about was my son back in the village. I have been trying to leave but there was no bus available. I just want to hold my family.”

8:00 a.m: Aid agencies, including World Vision, say they face huge challenges as they respond to the weekend’s deadly earthquake.

World Vision says the death toll – now at 4,700 – will likely rise as response teams continue to trek to the most remote areas near the epicenter.

The group says aid workers are hindered by a congested airport in capital Kathmandu, impassable and destroyed roads which have left several remote villages still largely cut off.

The group says international aid agencies are also stretched thin as they respond to multiple humanitarian crises across the world including Syria and South Sudan,

Phillip Ewert, Operations Director for World Vision in Nepal, says, ”we know the clock is ticking for those impacted by the earthquake in some of the most remote areas – aid is a matter of life or death for many at this point.”

1:30 a.m: Some Virginia-based organizations in the United States have joined the earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.

Operation Blessing International says it has brought several portable hand-held water treatment units developed by partner Aqua Research LLC. The device disinfects up to 80 gallons of water using only table salt and a single battery charge.

The Christian Broadcasting Network says it has humanitarian workers assisting authorities in Nepal with rescue efforts and other needs. The organization also plans to set up a medical outreach to treat the injured and provide temporary shelters for families whose homes have been destroyed.

Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed more than 4,700 people and injured over 8,000.

Both Operation Blessing and the Christian Broadcasting Network are based in Virginia Beach

1:20 a.m: Guiding companies say all climbers on the Nepal side of Mount Everest have left the mountain and the climbing season is over following a deadly avalanche that swept through base camp following the huge earthquake in Nepal.

Gordon Janow is director of programs at Seattle-based Alpine Ascents International. He says most Everest summits occur between May 10 and 20, so it’s too late to think about trying to go back up the mountain before monsoon season.

The huge avalanche on Everest that killed 18 and injured dozens happened after Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed at least 4,600 people in the Himalayan nation.

Every year hundreds of people attempt to scale the world’s tallest mountain, with many paying tens of thousands of dollars to guide companies that attempt to get them to the 29,029-foot (8,850-meter) summit.

12:05 a.m: The U.S. State Department has identified the third of four Americans it had announced were killed in the Nepal earthquake.

Besides the two identified yesterday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Marisa Eve Girawong also was killed. Those announced Monday were Thomas Ely Taplin and Vinh B. Truong. The fourth has not yet been identified.

11:20 p.m: An official says Nepal’s earthquake was picked up as far away as Antarctica and Argentina by seismic stations that monitor the globe for underground nuclear testing.

The executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization told reporters Tuesday that 70 stations in all detected Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake.

Lassina Zerbo says the monitoring stations can pick up the effects of an earthquake, but they are not able to predict one.

Zerbo spoke on the sidelines of a United Nations gathering of world powers to discuss progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons.

Nepali officials conceded they had made mistakes in their initial response to a massive earthquake that has killed more than 4,700 people, as survivors stranded in remote villages and towns waited for aid and relief to arrive on Wednesday.

The government has yet to fully assess the devastation wrought by Saturday’s 7.9 magnitude quake, unable to reach many mountainous areas despite aid supplies and personnel pouring in from around the world.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Nepal four days ago rose past 5,000 on Wednesday as officials conceded they had made mistakes in their initial response, leaving survivors stranded in remote villages waiting for aid and relief.

The government has yet to fully assess the devastation wrought by Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake, unable to reach many mountainous areas despite aid supplies and personnel pouring in from around the world.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Nepal four days ago rose past 5,000 on Wednesday as officials conceded they had made mistakes in their initial response, leaving survivors stranded in remote villages waiting for aid and relief.

Anger and frustration was mounting steadily, with many Nepalis sleeping out in the open under makeshift tents for a fourth night since Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.

“This is a disaster on an unprecedented scale. There have been some weaknesses in managing the relief operation,” Nepal’s Communication Minister Minendra Rijal said late on Tuesday.

“We will improve this from Wednesday.”

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told Reuters on Tuesday the death toll could reach 10,000, with information on casualties and damage from far-flung villages and towns yet to come in.

That would surpass the 8,500 who died in a 1934 earthquake, the last disaster on this scale to hit the Himalayan nation of some 28 million people that sits between India and China.

Early on Wednesday, Nepal’s home ministry put the latest death toll at 4,768, with more than 9,600 injured. More than 80 were also killed in India and Tibet.

Hospitals quickly overflowed with injured soon after the quake, with many being treated out in the open or not at all.

Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi appealed for specialist doctors from overseas, as well as for search-and-rescue teams despite earlier suggestions from officials that Nepal did not need such assistance.

“Our top priority is for relief and rescue teams. We need neurologists, orthopaedic surgeons and trauma surgeons,” Bairagi said.

On Tuesday, the head of the United Nations Development Programme in Nepal told Reuters that Kathmandu had told aid agencies it did not need more foreign rescue teams because its government and military could cope.

Experts from a Polish NGO that has an 87-strong team in Nepal have said the chances of finding people alive in the ruins five days after the quake were “next to zero”.


International aid has begun arriving in Nepal, but disbursement has been slow, partly because aftershocks have sporadically closed the airport.

In a rare glimmer of hope, a Nepali-French rescue team pulled a 28-year-old man, Rishi Khanal, from a collapsed apartment block in Kathmandu on Tuesday after he had spent around 80 hours trapped in a room with three dead bodies.

Aftershocks, severe damage from the quake, creaking infrastructure and a lack of funds have complicated rescue efforts. Food, water and power are in short supply.

Tensions between foreigners and Nepalis desperate for relief were starting to rise, rescuers said, as fresh avalanches were reported in several areas.

Members of an Israeli search-and-rescue group named Magnus said hundreds of tourists, including about 100 Israelis, were stranded in Langtang in Rasuwa district, a popular trekking area north of Kathmandu hit by a fresh avalanche on Tuesday.

Up to 250 people were missing.

Fights had broken out there because of food shortages, Magnus team member Amit Rubin said. “Villagers think the tourists are taking too much food,” Rubin said.

In other remote areas where rescue helicopters were unable to find a place to land, soldiers had started to make their way overland, first by bus, then by foot.

A health official in Laprak, a village in the district best known as the home of Gurkha soldiers, estimated that 1,600 of the 1,700 houses in the village had been razed.

In Sindhupalchowk, about 3 1/2 hours by road northeast of Kathmandu, the earthquake was followed by landslides, killing 1,206 people and seriously injuring close to 400.

The quake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 climbers and guides, including four foreigners, the worst disaster on the world’s highest peak.

For Updates Check World News; follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1UP Panchayat Election 2021 Voting Schedule: Full list of constituencies going to polls in Phase 1
2Ambedkar Jayanti 2021: Ambedkar’s legacy – From architect of Constitution to a political necessity
3What is Ambedkar Jayanti? Date, significance, history and why it is celebrated