Nepal earthquake death toll nearing 3000, government totally unprepared for the task

by uttam niroula in kathmandu

27 April 2015 2:53 AM: A member of the constituent assembly has warned the death toll of Nepal’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake is now nearly at 3,000. “I am just back from Dhading where at least 300 people have lost their lives in that district alone,” said Gangalal Tuladhar who flew there in a helicopter to observe his constituency.

cry_story_350_042615022206He also said the government would start cremating the dead to free up space at the morgues and hospitals. On Sunday, there was no spot left for funeral pyres at Kathmandu’s Pashupati Aryaghat, a place Hindus consider sacred for last rites.

Tuladhar said the government has found no foreigners among the casualties in Kathmandu.

Speaking to media persons earlier in the day, home minister Bamdev Gautam said Gorkha district was perhaps one of the worst hit districts with nearly 90 percent of homes affected.

Rescue teams have arrived in Nepal from India, China and Sri Lanka but the government has shown no strategy to mount a coordinated rescue operation. There has been a number of conflict situations between various entities involved in the rescue.

People are blaming the government’s zero preparedness (for natural disasters such as earthquake) as the main reason behind its poor performance including its inability to effectively coordinate with the rescue missions from other countries. They say the government has no mechanism in place to deal with a disaster of this magnitude.

Some complain they feel betrayed by the state and say their leaders showed no seriousness in helping their voters in distress.

On the other hand, whatever relief operations were in progress are now being impeded by rain which started this evening at around 7 pm local time.

The government has declared it would not hesitate using force to open pharmacies or shops that do not open for business in these trying times. However, there were many pharmacies and shops that did not open throughout Sunday indicating they are clearly not worried about the government’s caution.

Food supply including water is running in supply, mainly because stores remain closed.

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