Life crawling back to normal in Nepal's quake-hit capital

A U.S. doctor attends to Pemba Tamang inside an ambulance after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Crowds cheered Thursday as Tamang was pulled, dazed and dusty, from the wreckage of a seven-story Kathmandu building that collapsed around him five days ago when an enormous earthquake shook Nepal.  (AP Photo / Manish Swarup)

A U.S. doctor attends to Pemba Tamang inside an ambulance after being rescued by Nepalese policemen and U.S. rescue workers from a building that collapsed five days ago in Kathmandu, Nepal, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Crowds cheered Thursday as Tamang was pulled, dazed and dusty, from the wreckage of a seven-story Kathmandu building that collapsed around him five days ago when an enormous earthquake shook Nepal. (AP Photo / Manish Swarup) (5/1/15)

KATHMANDU, Nepal - (AP) Fresh croissants emerged from a popular bakery and were quickly snapped up. Farmers delivered fresh produce and lines disappeared at gasoline stations. Slowly, life edged back toward a semblance of normal in Nepal's quake-hit capital Friday as residents packed up tents and moved indoors.

As rescue workers continued to comb the rubble in Kathmandu for survivors, the government said it was giving the equivalent of $1,000 to families of each victim killed in Saturday's earthquake, and another $400 for funeral costs, according to state-run Nepal Radio.

The death toll from the mammoth quake climbed to 6,260, police said, including those who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest, plus more than 60 elsewhere in the region. The city got a lift Thursday when two survivors, including a 15-year-old boy, were rescued after being buried in debris for five days.

Although poorer sections of the city remained strewn with collapsed buildings, there were visibly fewer tents standing in a central part of Kathmandu that had been packed with people in the first few days after the magnitude-7.8 quake hit amid repeated aftershocks.

Krishna Maharjan, a farmer on the outskirts, brought green onions and cauliflower on his bicycle into the city.

"We are trying to get as much fresh food to the people as possible," he said. "I feel it is our small contribution. But that's what we can do and every little bit helps."

More than 130,000 houses were reportedly destroyed, according to the U.N. humanitarian office. Its chief, Valerie Amos, landed in Nepal for a three-day visit to meet victims and local leaders.

Amos told reporters there were "immense logistical challenges" for aid workers trying to get aid to isolated, mountainside villages where helicopters can't land and roads have often been destroyed.

"Of course we are worried that it is taking so long to get to people who desperately need aid. Some of those villages are virtually flattened. But it's very, very hard to see how we're going to get to them," said Amos, who saw some of those places by air on Friday.

In the past 48 hours, the U.N. Children's Fund, or UNICEF, has delivered nearly 30 metric tons of supplies, including tents, water purification tablets, and first aid and hygiene kits.

Nepal appealed to international donors on Friday to send more tents and tarpaulins, along with grain, salt and sugar.

"We have received things like tuna fish and mayonnaise. What good are those things for us? We need grains, salt and sugar," Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said.

Information Minister Minedra Risal said Nepal immediately needs 400,000 tents but so far has only been able to provide 29,000 to people in need.

A European Union official said about 1,000 people from Europe are still unaccounted for and had not reached out to their embassies since the earthquake struck.

EU Ambassador to Nepal Rensje Teerink told reporters Friday that "of course doesn't mean they are dead. It just means they haven't reported back."

Most of the people came as tourists and trekkers, and many do not register with their embassies.

A group of Nepal's Gurkhas serving the British army have rushed back home to help their quake-hit countrymen get clean drinking water. The soldiers from the Queen's Gurkha Engineers Unit on Thursday set up a portable water purification unit on the Kathmandu grounds of the old royal palace.

"I am just glad I could serve my countrymen when they really needed something so necessary like clean drinking water," said Cpl. Bhesh Gurung, 34. "I have been away for 13 years serving in a foreign land and finally I can do something for my motherland."
    

 

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

The county's Republican Executive Committee met to decide 1 Nassau GOP endorses Martins for exec
Thousands of mourners gathered in Bethpage for the 2 Thousands line Bethpage streets in tribute to fallen firefighter
Amtrak announced Thursday it will begin replacing tracks 3 Amtrak accelerating Penn Station work, rail delays expected
Some are concerned about what is being called 4 Loophole could allow sex offenders to work for Uber, Lyft
They blame the tax break for sending property 5 Hempstead IDA revokes Green Acres Mall tax break

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Hundreds cheered as the 15-year-old, Pemba Tamang, was Teenager rescued from rubble 5 days after Nepal quake

Hundreds cheered as the 15-year-old, Pemba Tamang, was pulled out of the wreckage, dazed and

Aftershocks and an avalanche have made the earthquake Nepal death toll surpasses 4,000

The death toll in Nepal has surpassed 4,000 people following a massive earthquake on Saturday,

Aftershocks and an avalanche have made the earthquake 2 NYC natives reportedly missing in Nepal

Two native New York City residents are among those missing after an avalanche in Nepal

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE