And over 8,000 are believed to be injured as hope of finding survivors in the rubble dwindles. Mass cremations are taking place at Pashupatinath, where the famous funeral ghats are located. Residents report traffic gridlocks on all highways leading out of Kathmandu. The main cause of these traffic jams is that many residents at Kathmandu are leaving the capital to check on their hometowns and their relatives. Such traffic conditions have hampered the delivery of supplies of food and water into and out of the city. I’m glad to learn that India has finally contributed helicopters. I wonder if drones can be deployed for this purpose.
According to aid workers, the quake victims are in urgent need of drinking water. Most people are now living in tents for fear that their homes are structurally unsound and may collapse any time as wave after wave of aftershocks continue to rock the region. The lack of proper shelter may pose further problems as the monsoon is expected to arrive in full force in about 6 weeks.
Outside the capital, many of the worst-hit villages in the ridges around the Katmandu Valley remain a black hole, surrounded by landslides that make them inaccessible even to the country’s armed forces. The Nepali authorities on Monday began airdropping packages of tarpaulins, dry food and medicine into mountain villages, but an attempt to land helicopters was abandoned. There are also reports that hospitals in the surrounding towns and villages are seriously overwhelmed. Doctors have been working round the clock. Some report of having only 2 hours’ sleep a night since the earthquake struck on Saturday.