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Aid Groups Jostle To Help As Death Toll Rises In Nepal
Aid groups are currently struggling to get supplies to displaced and injured persons during the massive earthquake that rocked Nepal on Saturday.
More than 3900 have now been confirmed dead in Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake.
Over 6,500 people were also injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.
Nations that are currently poised to send in humanitarian aid are India, Nepal’s closest ally, China, Pakistan, United States, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Germany, France, Poland, Italy, Israel and Singapore.
The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has also said it will send in a team to assess Nepal’s immediate needs and ensure that they are met.
IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, noted that the body would work closely with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other agencies to provide assistance.
Google.org says it is contributing $1 million to the response efforts currently going on in Nepal.
It also said Google’s crisis response team has launched a program to help victims’ families locate their loved ones. Google is also working to get updated satellite imagery to help in the recovery effort.
The U.S. Agency for International Development is deploying a disaster assistance response team and urban search and rescue efforts, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.
The World Health Organization, WHO, has supplied health kits to assist over 40,000 people for three months and an additional $175,000 dollars as the first part of emergency financial aid, it said in an e-mailed statement.
The Chinese government is also mobilizing emergency relief supplies to Nepal, foreign ministry spokesperson, Hong Lei, said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website.
Pakistan has equally sent two airplanes with medical personnel and supplies onboard. Two more planes with relief assistance will reach Kathmandu on Monday, it said.
Singapore has also indicated interest in sending in a 55-man search-and-rescue team to assist in rescue efforts.
Israel on its own has dispatched a search and rescue team fully supplied with emergency medical supplies.
Meanwhile, the death toll is expected to rise further in coming days as multinational teams are currently digging through the ruins of collapsed buildings across the nation.
Nepal is one of Asia’s poorest countries with a dismal economy.
A lot of public infrastructures including telecommunications towers, buildings and water purification structures have been destroyed.
Records show that within the century, four similar earthquakes of magnitude-6.0 or larger have occurred within about 150 miles of Saturday’s earthquake.
The quake struck before noon local time about 50 miles northwest of Katmandu, a seismically hazardous region. The shock affected regions like Lahore, Pakistan, Lhasa, Tibet, Dhaka, and Bangladesh.
Hospitals in Kathmandu have been overwhelmed with makeshift tents springing in parts of the city to care for the injured.
About 900 homes in the nearby villages of Laprak and Barpak near the epicentre were destroyed in the quake.