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A week after quake, Nepal needs 400,000 tents, food for 3.5 mn

A week after quake, Nepal needs 400,000 tents, food for 3.5 mn

Kathmandu: Nepal, which has been flooded with relief material, still needs 400,000 tents and food for 3.5 million people, a week after a massive quake devastated the country.

A temblor measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale had jolted Nepal on April 25, killing over 6,500 people, causing widespread destruction and destroying nearly 150,000 houses, according to the home ministry.

Additionally, over 14,000 people were injured and over 160,000 houses damaged.

The mountainous nation of 28 million has been left reeling.

The number of Indians who died in the earthquake are 48 with ten reported injured brought to various hospitals, according to information released by Nepal's Home Ministry on Saturday. The figure for other foreign nationals touched xx.

Bodies are still being pulled out of rubble of what were once bustling homes.

The temblor left thousands of stories of misery and pain for those who survived.

Teams from India and other countries are working feverishly, as each day some person or the other is being extracted from the rubble -- giving hope.

Aid and assistance in both cash and kind is pouring in but due to the difficult geographical terrain, it has been a challenge to carry out rescue and distribution of relief materials.

Those who survived and are living in open space are struggling to access essential commodities like food and vegetables due to mass exodus of the traders from capital Kathmandu.

Nepal Army, which is coordinating the rescue and search bid as well as relief materials, said that as much international aid has not arrived as Nepal needs in this hour of crisis.

A statement on Saturday said that Prime Minister Sushil Koirala inspected the central command post at Tribhuvan International Airport and it showed a pathetic picture of aid status.

During the briefing, army officials told Koirala that relief materials received by Nepal was below their expectation and very few relief materials have been stocked in airport premises.

During the inspection, the prime minister and his team found that relief materials like water, dry food, tents and other food stuff are not adequately coming from outside.

Officials said that there was just one water filter received from outside.

The government still needs 400,000 tents, said the home ministry.

There are also concerns among officials that international community's effort in rescue bid and relief distribution was not that effective. Also, lack of coordination among the government agencies was also hampering the post-disaster task.

People are afraid to return home fearing quakes. Over 150 aftershocks have jolted the nation within this one week. Over 6 lakhs people have left Kathamdu to various parts of the country.

Kathmandu is still limping and there are very few public and private vehicles plying in the street. The shops are still not opening and the economy has been severely hit.

Archaeologists said that it will take a decade to restore or renovate the damaged or collapsed monuments in Kathmandu. Billions of rupees will be needed.

The Nepal government has created a fund of $2 billion for reconstruction. International communities, including the UN, have called for assistance for Nepal.

At least 29 nations are engaged with various rescue and relief works with various aid related assistance.

"We are still struggling to find the exact pictures of loss of lives and properties," said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, joint secretary at the home ministry.

According to the home ministry, 130,503 private houses and 10,464 government houses were totally destroyed in the quake. In addition, 135,970 private houses and 14,188 government houses were damaged.

"Reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation of the damaged properties and affected people is going to be a tall order for the government," said chairman of Nepal Engineers Association Dhurva Thapa.

He added that his office will send over 2,000 engineers across the nation to take stock.

Around 24,000 displaced people are still hosted in 13 camps in Kathmandu, said the UN.

More than 3.5 million people are estimated to be in need of food assistance as it assessed that over 8 million people were directly affected by the quake.

As many as 2.8 million people were displaced across the country, said a UN report.

Bangkok based Asian Disaster Preparedness Center said that over 4,500 schools building had collapsed which means thousands of school children would be hit hard.

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