Bad weather cuts links with avalanche-hit village
Kathmandu: Bad weather has cut links
with a remote village in Nepal where dozens of villagers and trekkers are
believed to be buried under an avalanche set off by last month's devastating
earthquake, officials said on Tuesday. The death toll from the April 25
earthquake in the Himalayan nation has reached 7,557, the government said.
About 100 bodies were recovered on
Saturday and Sunday at Langtang village, 60 km north of Kathmandu, which is on
a trekking route popular with Westerners. The entire village, which includes 55
guesthouses for trekkers, was wiped out by the avalanche and rescuers are
digging in the snow for signs of about 120 others believed buried.
Gautam Rimal, assistant chief district
officer in the area where Langtang is located, said authorities had not made
contact with Langtang for more 24 hours because of bad weather.
“We hope to send a rescue helicopter
today (Tuesday) to the area," he said. "We'll know the situation
then.” The dead include at least seven foreigners, but only two had been
identified, he said.
The government has begun asking
foreign teams to wrap up search and rescue operations as hopes of finding
people alive in the rubble receded. “They can leave. If they are also
specialists in clearing the rubble, they can stay,” Rameshwar Dangal, an
official at Nepal’s home ministry, told Reuters on Monday.
A European Union source said only
about 60 citizens from the 28-nation bloc were still unaccounted for. Last week
a senior EU official had estimated around 1,000 EU citizens were missing after
the quake. The number is “going down by the hour” as rescue teams reach remoter
areas, the EU source said.
A US State Department spokesman said
helicopters chartered by the embassy in Kathmandu had rescued 17 U.S. citizens
in total from remote areas hit by the quake. The United States has provided
$14.2 million in humanitarian aid since the quake.
The government has said it has not
closed Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, to climbers, although the route
to the summit has been damaged by the earthquake. At least 18 people were
killed on Everest when the earthquake struck.
Climbers pay $11,000 each to climb
Everest, and 357 were registered for this climbing season. Last year, the
government extended permits when teams abandoned their expeditions after an
avalanche killed 16 Sherpa mountain guides.
The United Nations has said 8 million
of Nepal's 28 million people were affected by the quake, with at least 2
million needing tents, water, food and medicines over the next three months.
The United Nations Children's Fund
said more than half a million children were being vaccinated to prevent measles
outbreaks. Around 1.7 million children remain in urgent need of humanitarian
aid in the worst-hit areas, it added.
responsibility, IS members and followers celebrated online with postings on
IS-affiliated militant websites.
"How are you (Americans) going
to live when we create our lone wolves to be nuclear bombs... by God, you can't
match us and in the heart of your homes you will see," said one Twitter
"Let anyone who wants to draw
the picture of our Prophet to think one thousand times before doing so, because
our hands can reach his neck," said another.