Strong aftershocks in Nepal and India have created more terror for frightened residents hit by Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
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Tens of thousands of people are sleeping in the streets and more than 2,500 died in the quake, which radiated from the capital, Kathmandu, into villages in the countryside and on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest. More than 5,000 people have been injured.
Relief crews, including those commissioned by CBN, have had trouble getting into the country, as aftershocks forced pilots to turn around and avoid landing in Nepal. One aftershock measured a powerful 6.7, making the gruesome tasks of searching for survivors and cremating the dead in the Hindu nation even more unsettling.
“We don’t feel safe at all. There have been so many aftershocks. It doesn’t stop,” said Rajendra Dhungana, 34, who attended his niece’s cremation at a temple in Kathmandu.
The original quake was powerful even across the border in India. CBN’s Regional Director for India, Priti Choudhry, told CBN News, “I live in an apartment building in the suburbs of Delhi, and our apartment shook for one minute, very hard, actually.”
CBN crews trying to enter Nepal were re-routed due to aftershocks, although some have now landed there.
“I think the biggest challenge right now for all of us who want to help is to get into Nepal and then once we are there to get moving,” Choudhry explained. “There is rubble everywhere. People are out in the streets.”
A CBN producer on the ground said taxi drivers refuse to take aid workers around the country because of the chaos, and some are charging 20 times the going rate.
Electricity outages prevent people from cooking, so commerce has largely come to a standstill, with the exception of fruit vendors and pharmacists.
“More people are coming now,” said fruit seller Shyam Jaiswal. “They cannot cook so they need to buy something they can eat raw.”
Choudhry described the need for relief efforts on a number of fronts. “We are looking at setting up community kitchens. We ant to be able to feed the many, many homeless people who are out on the streets right now,” she said. “We want to do some temporary shelters, and of course we want to do medical work because there are a lot of injured people and people who need medical help.”
SOURCE: CBN News