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Nepal Earthquake Kills More Than 2,500 and injured about 5900.

Kathmandu, April 27 -- The official number of dead from Saturday's Himalayan earthquake has topped 2,500 and may continue to rise as remote areas near the epicenter are searched.

Nepal authorities said Sunday that at least 2,430 people in that country had died in Nepal alone, not including the 18 people that the Nepal Mountaineering Association says died in an earthquake-triggered avalanche on Mount Everest. Another 61 people died from the quake in India and a few in other neighboring countries.

With search and rescue efforts far from over, it was unclear how much the death toll would rise.

To add more fear and grievances, Nepal was rocked by a 6.7 aftershock on Sunday as relief workers, doctors and supplies arrived to help with the devastation following Saturday's massive 7.8 earthquake.

A growing sense of despair spread through Katmandu on Sunday as the devastated Nepali capital was convulsed by aftershocks that sent residents screaming into the streets, where they were pelted by heavy rain.

A day after an earthquake killed more than 2,500 people and injured about 5,900, residents grew frantic and the government, entirely overwhelmed by the enormousness of the challenge facing the country, struggled to provide relief, or much hope.

The already difficult situation in much of the capital, where safe shelters are scarce, was made worse Sunday when rains began to pour down on huddled masses.

Streets in parts of this city of about 1.2 million were impassable, not so much from quake damage but because tens of thousands of people have taken up residence there because continued aftershocks, including one of magnitude 6.7, left them too afraid to go back inside. It was a strategy endorsed by the government. Other residents were camping out in schools, school playgrounds and government offices.

On Sunday, the government began setting up 16 relief stations across Katmandu and the rest of the country while rescue operations continued. The relief stations are expected to ease distribution of water, food and medicine, said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a spokesman at the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Electricity has been intermittent at best in Katmandu, and absent entirely in other parts of Nepal, but that is not wholly unusual in a country where nighttime blackouts are routine.

After the earthquake struck, multiple organizations sent crews to the area, offering aid and much-needed supplies.

The international community has also pledged support and aid packages to Nepal. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, has said the US will pledge $1m to the aid effort and will also assist with a disaster response team.

Australia has also pledged a Aus$5m aid package, while India, Sri Lanka, the UK, China and others are all sending disaster response teams to assist in search and rescue.

Pope Francis led prayers in St Peter's Square for the dead, displaced and injured in Nepal and surrounding areas.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Asian Tribune.

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Publication:Asian Tribune (India)
Geographic Code:9NEPA
Date:Apr 27, 2015
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