Survivors wrestle with disaster

  • quake terror in dolakha, sindhupalchok
- RAJENDRA MANANDHAR, Rishiram Poudel, Dolakha/Sindhupalchok
Survivors wrestle with disaster

May 14, 2015-

Charikot, the district headquarters of Dolakha, wore a deserted look after Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.

The administrative works came to a complete halt as most of the government offices were destroyed or damaged in the quake. The market places remained closed. Even eateries did not open in Charikot on Thursday.

Dolakha was hit the hardest by Tuesday’s quake with its epicentre in the bordering area of Dolakha and Sindhupalchok. The toll has reached 76 until Thursday with many more missing in various parts in the district.

Most of the houses in Charikot were either destroyed or developed cracks. “The houses by the road are on the brink of collapse. They can topple any time,” said Mahesh Ghimire, an employee of Nepal Telecom staying at Bhalukhola.

According to Chief District Officer Premlal Lamichhane, 99 percent of the houses in the district are uninhabitable. And frequent aftershocks above magnitude 4 are only compounding to the panic-stricken people in the district, forcing them to take shelter out in the open.

Tsho-Rolpa Hospital at Satdobato in Charikot has been providing health services by setting up tents on the road after its building developed cracks. “More than 100 people, mostly those who sustained injuries in the quake, visit the hospital every day,” said Dr Sudhir Rajbhandari.

In Sindhupalchok, people in more than a dozen villages including Baruwa, Baskharka, Tatopani, Hela-mbu, Bhotang, Gunsa have left for safer places after their settlements came under risk after landslides triggered by the earthquake. The landslides have blocked Tatopani-Barhabise among other rural roads in the district.

Sher Bahadur Tamang, a lawmaker representing the district, said that people in various northern Village Development Committees should be relocated at the earliest. “The quake victims are in need of security rather than relief now,” he said.

The district security committee urged Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, who visited the district on Thursday, to resettle the people from the landslide-prone villages to safe locations.  

Meanwhile, 22 police personnel deployed in Tatopani dry port were shifted to Barhabise following landslide threats. Nepal Army said 52 people were rescued from Tatopani and Listi areas on Thursday.

Action if graft seen in relief effort: PM

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has warned of action against those involved in irregularities and bias while distributing relief materials to earthquake victims.

The PM made the announcement while receiving Rs2.5 million in relief assistance that the National Cooperatives Federation Nepal contributed to the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund.

“It’s a crime to pocket the money meant for relief. Action will be taken if corruption is found in the rehabilitation and reconstruction works to be carried out in the quake-affected areas,” the PM said.

Koirala appreciated the support from the Federation and other Nepali organisations. He said that directives had been issued to offices to see that relief distribution is equitable. (PR)

Published: 15-05-2015 08:13

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