Search for missing in Nepal village slowed by lack of equipment

2015-05-19 10:17
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Kathmandu - Rescuers in a Nepal village hit by landslides have broken off the search for more than 100 people still missing after the Himalayan nation was struck by two powerful earthquakes inside three weeks, authorities said on Tuesday.

"Due to lack of equipment, the work has been stalled," Premlal Lamichanne, the Chief District Officer of Dolakha district told dpa "Our assumption is that around 150 people are still buried."

Most roads in the region were cut off, making it impossible to deliver excavators to the town, a military source told dpa. At least 19 villages in the north of the district were inaccessible by road.

The roads would need to be restored before the necessary heavy equipment could reach the area.

Three Chinook helicopters sent by the British army were still over the border in Chandigarh, northern India, the military said.

Earlier reports said the Nepal government had denied the choppers access to the country's airspace, and that there was confusion over the reasons.

Entire hillsides collapsed in the 7.3-magnitude quake on May 12, burying people in their houses and vehicles in Dolakha, the epicentre around 60km east of Kathmandu.

Many of the victims were residents from the area on their way to collect relief materials from the town.

"My brother died in the April 25 quake and then my son and his pregnant wife have been missing since the landslide last week," said Lilbahadur Thami, after travelling to the village of Singati, around 3km south-west of Dolahka, to look for his missing relatives on Monday.

"But there is so much rubble and it's hard to believe they could be alive."

The recent quake killed 149 in Dolakha alone. The death toll from Nepal's two earthquakes passed 8 600 on Tuesday, making it the worst natural disaster in the country's history.

Read more on:    nepal  |  nepal earthquake

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