Nepal Quake: Reconstruction could cost $5bn

2015-04-27 13:01
Nepalese residents carry belongings from their destroyed homes as they walk through debris of Saturday's earthquake, in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu. (Niranjan Shrestha, AP)

Nepalese residents carry belongings from their destroyed homes as they walk through debris of Saturday's earthquake, in Bhaktapur on the outskirts of Kathmandu. (Niranjan Shrestha, AP)

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Kathmandu - A respected consultancy services has said the long-term cost of reconstruction in Nepal after Saturday's earthquake could be more than $5bn, or about 20% of Nepal's GDP.

Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist for the Colorado-based consultancy services IHS, says Nepal has extremely limited capacity to finance relief efforts and reconstruction from its own resources.

"The total long-term cost of reconstruction in Nepal using appropriate building standards for regions vulnerable to severe earthquakes could exceed $5bn.

Nepal's annual per capita GDP is only $1 000, and the average family lives in poverty.

"Massive international disaster relief and rescue efforts will be needed urgently, as well as large-scale international financial and technical assistance for long-term reconstruction of the economy," said Biswas.

Nepal's police said at least 3 617 people have been confirmed killed in Saturday's earthquake, including 1 302 in the Kathmandu Valley alone.

In addition, 6 515 people were injured nationwide, the police department said in a Tweet.

18 climbers confirmed dead

So far 18 people have also been confirmed dead in an avalanche that swept through the Mount Everest base camp in the wake of the earthquake. Another 61 people were killed in neighbouring India.

Foreign tourists in Nepal are getting anxious as food, water and power remain scarce. Hotel rooms are in short supply too.

Pierre-Anne Dube, a 31-year-old from Quebec, has been sleeping on the sidewalk outside a hotel. Friends had been staying there for the first two days so she could use the bathroom and shower there. But they have checked out.

Like many others she's scared and wants to get out on the first flight she can get.

"We can't reach the embassy. We want to leave. We are scared. There is no food. We haven't eaten a meal since the earthquake and we don't have any news about what's going on."

She had just returned from a trek to Everest base camp, which had been the "best experience of her life", but living the experience of the massive earthquake was definitely the "worst".

Read more on:    nepal  |  nepal earthquake  |  natural disasters

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