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Nepal Quake: Thousands try to leave Kathmandu

29 April 2015, 07:46

Kathmandu - Thousands of people are lining up at bus stations in Kathmandu where the Nepalese government is providing free transportation for people hoping to travel to their hometowns and villages following the recent earthquake.

The government has even deployed school buses to supplement the overstretched service.

Many of the people from other districts who work in the capital have received little news of their families and loved ones since Saturday's magnitude 7.8 earthquake, which killed more than 4 700 people and devastated the infrastructure including communication lines.

Others are simply scared of staying on so close to the quake's epicentre.

Also Read:Nigeria sends condolences to quake-struck Nepal

"I am hoping to get on a bus, any bus heading out of Kathmandu. I am too scared to be staying in Kathmandu. The house near my rented apartment collapsed. It was horrible,” said Raja Gurung, who was leaving for his home in the mountains of west Nepal.

“I have not gone indoors in many days. I would rather leave than a live life of fear in Kathmandu.

Suresh Sah, a construction worker from southern Nepal, said that when the quake hit, "the first thing I thought about was my son back in the village. I have been trying to leave but there was no bus available. I just want to hold my family."

Huge challenges

Aid agencies, including World Vision, say they face huge challenges as they respond to the weekend's deadly earthquake.

World Vision says the death toll — now at 4 700 — will likely rise as response teams continue to trek to the most remote areas near the epicentre.

The group says aid workers are hindered by a congested airport in capital Kathmandu, impassable and destroyed roads which have left several remote villages still largely cut off.

The group says international aid agencies are also stretched thin as they respond to multiple humanitarian crises across the world including Syria and South Sudan,

Phillip Ewert, Operations Director for World Vision in Nepal, says, "we know the clock is ticking for those impacted by the earthquake in some of the most remote areas — aid is a matter of life or death for many at this point."

- AP


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