Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)
Wednesday,19 September, 2018
Issue 1244, (30 April - 6 May 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Nepal’s nightmare

Al-Ahram Weekly

THE UNITED NATIONS: says eight million people have been affected by Saturday’s 7.8-scale earthquake in Nepal that killed nearly 5,000 people. Some 1.4 million people are in urgent need of food assistance, but the challenge is to reach them.

Help has poured in, with countries large and small sending medical and rescue teams, aircraft and basic supplies. Buildings in parts of the capital city were reduced to rubble and there were shortages of food, fuel, electricity and shelter. As bodies were recovered, relatives cremated the dead along the Bagmati River. At least a dozen funeral pyres burned late into the night. Conditions were far worse in the countryside, with rescue workers still struggling to reach mountain villages two days after the quake. Some roads and trails in Gorkha district, where the earthquake was centred, were blocked by landslides, but also by traffic jams that regularly clog the route north of Kathmandu.

The quake was the worst to hit the South Asian nation in more than 80 years. It was felt across parts of India, Bangladesh, Tibet and Pakistan. Nepal’s worst recorded earthquake, in 1934, measured 8.0 in the Richter scale and all but destroyed the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Patan.

The latest quake has strained the resources of this impoverished country best known for Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people south of the mountain, relies heavily on tourism, principally trekking and climbing.

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