Great Earthquake wipes out Barpak

- SUDIP KAINI, Barpak (Gorkha)
Great Earthquake wipes out Barpak

Apr 29, 2015-

In the aftermath of the devastating quake on Saturday, local Gothelal Gurung, 66, of Mandre, Barpak VDC was found roaming around a pile of rubble that once used to be his home. Heart wrenching as it is, the site is also the burial ground for seven of his family members including his son, grandchildren and others. He had buried the seven after finding no one to help perform their final rites.

“The quake of epic proportion turned the whole village into a crematory,” Gurung said.

All 65 houses in Rangrung VDC, located along the route to Barpak via Mandre have been destroyed. “Almost all the land surface in the area has developed cracks and Mandre is the worst hit in Barpak,” said Police Inspector Deepak Shrestha involved in rescue operations, adding that he was unable to confirm whether the epicentre was Barpak or Mandre.

As most locals were cremating the dead using wood from destroyed houses, Gurung said he was heading to Baluwa bazaar in Simjung. Almost all of the houses in Pokhari, Barpak-1, have been demolished but rescue personnel are yet to reach the site. An expecting mother, local Kum Maya Gurung, 26, who lost her husband to the quake has been rescued and sent to Pokhara after she was unable to give birth eight days past the due date given by doctors, said family members.

According to rescue workers, almost all houses in Barpak, Laprak, Simjung, Gumda and BK settlements are in rubble and the human casualties are high. “It is even difficult to walk due road cracks,” said local Dhaniram Ghale.

Rain showers and minor tremors resulting in continual landfall has impeded rescue, lamented engineer Kulraj Chalise at the District Development Committee.

“The first shock from the quake had lasted for about three minutes, toppling all of the houses,” said local Jeet Bahadur Ghale who has counted the number of aftershocks felt since then.

Damma Ghale, 70, whose house was destroyed in resulting fire after the quake, runs towards the helicopters everytime they land. But he stays without receiving relief materials.

Choppers belonging to the Indian Armed Forces have been used in the area for relief and rescue, however, they have been unable to land due to difficult terrain, said a Nepal Army officer.

Relief and rescue teams managed to reach Laprak on the fourth day, said regional administrator Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya. Although the difficult terrains have impeded rescue efforts, they have been trying their level best, Thapaliya added.

Delicate times at Kavre and Sindhupalchowk

Representatives of local political parties have sought the Prime Minister’s attention for immediate and long-term relief programmes. As of Wednesday evening, the death toll has reached 275 and around 150,000 have been affected in Kavre. For the past four days, however, only 2,200 tents have reached the district. Reports confirm no relief from the government has reached the district. Nepali Congress district secretary Shiva Prasad Humagain informed that they had demanded the government to provide Rs500,000 to the family of the deceased and a provision to provide bank debts amounting to Rs500,000 to those suffering from property damage with zero percent interest.

In Sindhupalchowk, relief has started trickling in but far from sufficient in comparison to the loss of property. Even after five days, scores of injured from various VDCs in central part of the district including Pantung, Golche, Hagam, Baramchi and Jalbire among others have been deprived of treatment.


Published: 30-04-2015 09:25

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