by krandan chapagain
As the death toll of Nepal’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake crosses 5000, injured people are finally being evacuated from Gorkha, the district where the epicentre lies.
A joint operation of Nepali and Indian defense forces have so far evacuated at least 164 people in need of immediate medical attention. The victims have been flown to Pokhara city for treatment.
The villages covered today (April 28) included the epicentre of the devastating earthquake, the Barpak Village.
A Nepal Army helicopter had evacuated 78 injured people on Sunday, 26 April. An Indian Army helicopter went back on Monday, 27 April, to carry out further evacuations as well as distribute relief materials.
The joint operation had flown 108 victims to Pokhara until Monday but a further 57 were evacuated during today’s rescue operations. According to western regional administrator Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, the operations today were concentrated on areas that could not be accessed during Sunday and Monday.
Elsewhere in the country, life is slowly getting back to normal including in the capital city of Kathmandu.
But people are leaving the city in their thousands too, specially those who are originally from the districts.
It is estimated nearly 80% of Kathmandu’s population is from the rural areas where employment opportunities are almost non-existent.
People are leaving the valley for fear of an epidemic outbreak following the devastation caused by the 7.9 earthquake. Some others are leaving because they have nothing left in Kathmandu, where daily essentials are already in short supply.
Some bus operators are taking advantage of this mass exodus by charging fares up to three times more than the normal rate. The government has warned of legal action against this selfish behaviour but the warning has not deterred people from cashing in on the desperation of the earthquake victims.