Nepal Earthquake: Fears Of ‘Total Destruction’ In Remote Areas

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NEPAL (CNN) — As the death toll from Nepal’s worst earthquake in decades surged past 3,700 on Monday, big questions remained about the extent of the devastation in rural areas.

The destruction in Kathmandu, the capital, is stark: revered temples reduced to rubble, people buried in the wreckage of their homes, hospitals short on medical supplies and overflowing with patients. Serious damage is also reported in villages in the surrounding valley.

But farther out across Nepal’s rugged landscape — closer to the epicenter of Saturday’s magnitude-7.8 quake — the situation is disturbingly murky.

“Information about remote areas is severely lacking at this time,” said Devendra Singh Tak, an official with Save the Children, noting that roads were blocked and communications unreliable.

Reports of ‘total or near total destruction’

Patchy reports have filtered through of entire villages leveled by the quake or engulfed by landslides.

“Some of the initial surveys that we’re hearing of from the zones closer to the epicenter talk about total or near total destruction,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Tak, who is in Kathmandu, told CNN that Save the Children and other aid groups were sending out teams Monday to more remote areas. The Nepalese government said it was flying helicopters to places it couldn’t reach by road.

“That’s where one needs to get out and conduct rescue and relief,” Tak said.

UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, said Sunday that nearly 1 million Nepalese children urgently need assistance.

China, India, France, Italy, Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and Switzerland were among the nations sending aid and search and rescue crews.

3 U.S. citizens among dead

Three of the dead are U.S. citizens, a State Department official told CNN on Sunday. The State Department didn’t provide any names, but we’ve learned them:

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5 comments

  • Lead Farmer

    Never fear Nepal, I’m sure China will be moving tanks, bombers, and troops into your devestated nation soon to “restore stability and ensure the preservation of life.” Good luck to you getting them to go home afterwards though. Oh, wait, their communists. Your home is their home.

  • Isabella Emily Stam

    The biggest tragedy for the leftist Marxist president and his followers are the immense carbon emissions from the burning of the thousands of bodies in Nepal. Obama bin Laden should be sending troops to Nepal to prevent such a tremendous contribution to “climate change.” Obama himself should lead those troops. In fact, the earthquake and aftershocks can be attributed directly to the burning of the dead by Buddhist and Hindu communities over the past few decades.

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