Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll Exceeds 4,000

Luke Sharma

The death toll for the April 25 Nepalese earthquake has officially exceeded 4,000, according to a recent report published by Sky News.

Since Nepal suffered the magnitude-7.9 earthquake on April 25, the death toll has risen from initial reports of around 1,500 to 4,000, and the injury toll has risen to more than 7,500. Kathmandu, being the largest city in Nepal, has been the hardest hit by the earthquake, with 1,000 confirmed deaths in the region. Heavy earthquake damage to the infrastructure of Kathmandu has caused many of the wounded survivors to be restricted to lying out in the open, across rubble and roads due to a lack of beds in the city's (already destroyed) hospitals, increasing the risk of disease.

Over 100 aftershocks have complicated the earthquake rescue missions. The consistency of the aftershocks means that the citizens of Nepal have been instructed to spend yet another night (their third consecutive night) sleeping outdoors, amidst fears buildings may collapse upon them.

The earthquake's death toll is predicted to rise even further as rural villages have become trapped, with as many as ten landslides occurring between each village. This means that there is no access route for rescue teams, and so aid cannot reach the villagers.

A Nepal army spokesman told the New York Times that a helicopter rescue to some of the villages has been attempted, but abandoned. Due to the terrain of Nepal, combined with a complicated, sparse road network, it has been impossible for anyone to make assessments of the status of many of the Nepalese villages. Especially those around the epicenter (such as Lamjung, where the earthquake was centred).

Nepal has been in desperate need of foreign aid, and thankfully there was a rapid response from its neighbours: India, Pakistan, and China. India and Pakistan are leading the rescue missions, with their special forces being the most experienced in earthquake response.

According to Al Jazeera, U.S. authorities have allocated even more money to their Nepal relief fund, raising the total U.S. donation to around $10 million. The U.N. has also designated around $15 million in aid to Nepal. There have also been earthquake aid contributions in the form of medicine, money, and tents from the E.U., Israel, and the UAE.

It has also been reported that there is anger slowly spreading throughout the Nepalese population over their own government's limited involvement in the aid. Airports and other government buildings have not been equipped with enough facilities to provide sanitation, food, or medical supplies to the Nepalese people, according to this report from Al Jazeera.

The lack of support being provided by the Nepal government has led to fighting over food and supplies in various locations as people are fearing for theirs, and their family's lives. This kind of sporadic fighting in Nepal will hopefully be lessened as the MAP charity has promised enough supplies to last 10,000 people around 3-months.

As well as human loss, Nepal has suffered plenty of cultural loss at the hands of this earthquake. Sky News reports that drones have captured images of many historic UNESCO-recognised temples in Kathmandu that have been razed to the ground, to the despair of many locals.

This is the worst earthquake in Nepal in 80 years, with a death toll only lower than the 1934 Nepal Earthquake, in which 10,000 casualties were recorded.

[Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images]