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7.9

Photos: A rush to help survivors after Nepal’s catastrophic earthquake

EPA/Narendra Shrestha
Freed from the rubble.
  • Caitlin Hu
By Caitlin Hu

Geopolitics Editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

More than 1,300 people are now confirmed dead, reports Reuters, in the wake of a 7.9 magnitude earthquake just 77km (about 50 miles) outside of Kathmandu, Nepal.

Fatalities were reported across Nepal, northern India, and Bangladesh. Search-and-rescue efforts are still in early stages, hampered by collapsed buildings and buckled roads, the death toll is expected to rise.

Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport has re-opened to receive emergency supplies, and India has already begun sending relief. Meanwhile, local emergency responders are excavating damaged buildings as quickly as they can, to free any survivors trapped or injured in the debris. Ordinary civilians are also working to help, freelance photographer Thomas Nybo told CNN from Kathmandu:

“A group of mainly tourists started gathering rocks, hammers and pickaxes and breaking through a re-enforced concrete wall to reach this guy…It took about two hours of smashing through wall and cutting rebar with a hacksaw to pull him out alive.”

The search for survivors stuck under the rubble of the landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower

Although the main hospitals in Kathmandu remain open, they are at full capacity, according to the Red Cross. Less is known about the fate of rural towns and villages outside of Kathmandu. “Roads have been damaged or blocked by landslides and communication lines are down preventing us from reaching local Red Cross branches to get accurate information,” says Jagan Chapagain, IFRC Director for Asia Pacific. “We anticipate that there will be considerable destruction and loss of life.”

Strong aftershocks, which often follow a major earthquake, are likely to pose an immediate threat to survivors in the area.

Emergency responders in Kathmandu (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)
Searching for survivors (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)
People try to free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)
Temples have crumbled all over the city, and houses and walls have collapsed. (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)
Relatives of the victims (EPA/Narenda Shrestha)
A group of men carry a person on a stretcher (EPA/Narenda Shrestha)
The collapsed landmark Dharahara, also called Bhimsen Tower (EPA/Narenda Shrestha)
What remains of Bhimsen Tower (EPA/Narenda Shrestha)

 

Indian security personnel stands near a collapsed house after an earthquake in Siliguri (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)
Working to rescue trapped people inside a temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)
People wait at a school in Kathmandu (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)
Hundreds dead in Nepal earthquake, emergency declared (Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar)
Dust rises over Kathmandu (EPA/Narendra Shrestha)

 

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