Towns and villages near the epicentre of Saturday’s earthquake in central Nepal have suffered “almost total devastation”, the Red Cross says, BBC reports. Assessment teams say they have found survivors in a “desperate situation”. More than 6,000 people are now known to have died in the 7.8-magnitude quake but the fate of thousands more in many remote areas remains unknown.
The government has warned that the death toll could rise to more than 10,000. Although rescue teams from Nepal and the international community are operating in the capital Kathmandu and the surrounding area, landslides and poor weather have hampered efforts to reach isolated districts.
Emergency aid has also yet to reach many of the worst-hit areas, six days after the quake hit. There was some good news on Thursday when a 15-year-old boy and a woman in her 20s were pulled from the wreckage of two collapsed buildings in Kathmandu.
One of the worst-affected areas was the Sindupalchowk region, north-east of Kathmandu, it added. “One of our teams that returned from Chautara in Sindupalchowk district reported that 90% of the homes are destroyed,” said Jagan Chapagain, head of IFRC’s Asia Pacific division.
“The hospital has collapsed, and people are digging through the rubble with their hands in the hope that they might find family members who are still alive.”