Aid pouring in as relief stepped up

2015-04-28 00:29:55 GMT2015-04-28 08:29:55(Beijing Time)  China Daily
Residents retrieve items from the debris of a house that was damaged in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, during Saturday’s magnitude-7.9 earthquake, revised down from 8.1 earlier. BERNAT ARMANGUE / APResidents retrieve items from the debris of a house that was damaged in Kathmandu, Nepal's capital, during Saturday’s magnitude-7.9 earthquake, revised down from 8.1 earlier. BERNAT ARMANGUE / AP

The relief operation for Nepal earthquake victims intensified on Monday, with aid and personnel arriving from neighboring countries including China and India.

The international airport in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has been operating normally since Sunday, with passenger planes and aircraft carrying relief supplies arriving from various countries worldwide.

However, some people — mostly Indian nationals — had been waiting at the airport for two days to be evacuated. Indian authorities said they had evacuated 1,935 stranded citizens in Nepal, with officials in New Delhi saying the Indian Air Force had flown 12 missions to bring residents home, including many children.

While thousands staying outdoors amid chilly weather and sporadic rain on Sunday night, life in Kathmandu was returning to normal with many people going back to work.

Shops and restaurants were starting to reopen and some hotels were arranging trips to mountain resorts for foreign tourists and trekkers.

The UN food agency said it was preparing a large-scale aid operation to Nepal, with the first plane due to arrive on Tuesday. "This will be a large, massive operation," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the World Food Programme.

Officials said more than 3,700 people are known to have died, most of them in Nepal, making it the quake-prone Himalayan nation's deadliest disaster in more than 80 years.

World Food Programme experts arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday to assess the situation, with the agency saying that shelter and medical equipment should be the first priority.

The World Health Organization said on Monday that it had distributed sufficient medical supplies in Nepal to cover the health needs of more than 40,000 people for three months.

The Buddhist Association of China holds an assembly in Beijing to pray and raise funds for quake-hit Nepal and China’s Tibet autonomous region. WANG JING / CHINA DAILYThe Buddhist Association of China holds an assembly in Beijing to pray and raise funds for quake-hit Nepal and China’s Tibet autonomous region. WANG JING / CHINA DAILY

UNICEF, the UN children's agency, warned that the quake had left nearly 1 million youngsters in desperate need of assistance. It said the thousands of children camping out in the open in Kathmandu are particularly at risk of disease.

In China's Tibet autonomous region, where 20 deaths have been reported from the Nepal quake, snow and landslides have hindered rescue and relief efforts.

Roads, power and communications remained cut off in the town of Rongxar. Snowdrifts reached 10 cm on the road leading to the town, where houses collapsed following the quake.

On Monday, 12 soldiers reached the town. In the worst-hit village, more than 95 percent of houses had collapsed and casualties had been reported, according to Shen Yong, the team's head.

More than 100 soldiers were on their way to the town with tents, quilts and bottled water.

Quake-triggered landslides have blocked sections of many roads to Tibet's border towns of Gyirong and Zham.

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