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A look back at Nepal

Monday, May 25, 2015 - 02:02

Rubble and debris remains scattered across Nepal, with some residents forced to stay in tents, as they struggle to rebuild their homes almost a month after a deadly earthquake struck the country. Display (no reporter narration).

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DISPLAY (NO REPORTER NARRATION) A 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, killing thousands and demolishing more than half a million homes, most of them in rural areas cut off from emergency medical care. As the one month anniversary of the disaster approaches, rescuers are still searching for dozens of people who remain missing in remote villages. Eighteen people attempting to climb Mount Everest were killed on April 25 after being hit by a series of quake-triggered avalanches. A second major quake struck on May 12, 76 kilometers (47 miles) east of the capital Kathmandu, just as Nepalis were beginning to recover from the previous earthquake. Six U.S. marines and two Nepali soldiers were on a U.S. military helicopter when it went missing while distributing aid the same day. The crew had been heard over the radio saying the aircraft was experiencing a fuel problem. After a three-day search crash debris is found 8 miles (13 km) north of the town of Charikot near dense forest and rugged terrain at an altitude of 11,200 ft (3,400 m), with all eight on board presumed dead, officials said. Large swaths of remote, hard-to-access locations such as Langtang, 60 km (35 miles) north of the capital Kathmandu, were devastated in the earthquake, and aid agencies say many places have yet to be reached to assess the damage or deliver relief supplies. The number of people killed in Nepal by the two major earthquakes has surpassed 8,500, making the disaster the deadliest to hit the Himalayan country on record. "The death toll is almost 9,000. Injures over 20,000. Completely destroyed houses over 500,000 and partially destroyed houses over 300,000. Almost 1,000 government buildings have been completely destroyed," Prime Minister Sushil Koirala told reporters on Sunday (May 17). The previous deadliest earthquake to strike the country - in 1934 - killed at least 8,519 in Nepal, as well as thousands more in neighboring India. When the second quake hit, the United Nations had only raised 13 percent of the $423 million it said was needed to help Nepal recover from the April quake, which measured 7.8. Anger and frustration has been mounting in Nepal over the past month, as many Nepalis await assistance. Sleeping out in the open under makeshift tents, too scared to return to their damaged homes amid continuous aftershocks, many Nepalis feel the government has failed in their response to the crisis. The government said Nepal would need at least $2 billion to rebuild homes, hospitals, government offices and historic buildings and appealed for help from international donors. Nepal's archaeology department has also said that restoring Nepal's world heritage sites could take years of work and cost millions of U.S. dollars. Among the most famous tourist attractions that bore the brunt of the devastation from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake are the three Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan. UNESCO has offered support for the conservation and recovery of the sites along with other international donors who are ready to provide the funds needed for reconstruction. Government data shows that 800,000 foreign tourists visit Nepal every year with the heritage sites, monuments and temples a popular attraction.

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A look back at Nepal

Monday, May 25, 2015 - 02:02