Nepal’s capital became a city of whispers and rumors Sunday as residents hunkered down outdoors in tents and cars, and recurring aftershocks from Saturday’s earthquake kept everyone on edge, fearing another big quake.
Food and water supplies ran low. Price gouging began. Electricity was intermittent. Rescuers battled to make it to residents of remote villages — as well as climbers on Mount Everest — to save those still stranded more than 24 hours after the catastrophe. They continued clawing victims out of the rubble, sometimes with their bare hands.
The death toll kept climbing throughout the day, to more than 3,200 in Nepal and dozens more in neighboring countries. Mass cremations began.
Then it began to rain.
“I am stuck about [372 miles] northwest of Kathmandu in a village,” a despairing Ghanshayam Pandey, the director of a small charity, said in a telephone interview. “The deaths and injuries are overwhelming. We felt new tremors at 1 p.m. Nepal time. And it is raining off and on. It’s terrible.”
A day after a massive Himalayan earthquake killed more than 2,500 people, rescue efforts continued for trapped victims as panicked tourists looked to flee. (AP)
Sunday afternoon’s big aftershock in Nepal measured 6.7 on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, panicking already frightened citizens. As with the quake the day before, the aftershocks were felt as far away as New Delhi.
Two aircraft headed to Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport from India carrying some rescue personnel and aid workers had to head back to New Delhi because it was not safe to land, forcing a delay in relief efforts. Flights eventually resumed, only to be further delayed again by weather.
On Mount Everest, more snow and ice came crashing down, on the heels of Saturday’s devastating avalanche that left at least 19 reported dead at the mountain’s base camp and hampered rescues. Emergency personnel airlifted around 50 injured climbers by helicopter from the base camp Sunday morning but put help for others on hold after the aftershock. Col. Rohan Anand, a spokesman for the Indian army, said dozens of climbers remained missing at the world’s highest peak.
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