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Nepal earthquake death toll passes 5,000 as aid reaches area near epicentre

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Ramaya pleads for food after an aid relief helicopter lands at the remote mountain village of Gumda, near the epicentre of Saturday's massive earthquake in the Gorkha District of Nepal, yesterday.


Aid reached a hilly district near the epicentre of Nepal's earthquake for the first time yesterday, four days after the quake struck and as the death toll from the disaster passed the 5,000 mark.

But it will still take time for food and other supplies to reach survivors in remote communities who have been cut off by landslides, warned said Geoff Pinnock, a World Food Program emergencies officer.

"It doesn't happen overnight," said Pinnock from the village of Majuwa, 20 kilometres (16 miles) downhill from Gorkha town, a staging area for relief efforts to areas worst hit

by Saturday's magnitude-7.8 earthquake.

Nearby, five cargo trucks, filled with rice, cooking oil and sugar, stood on a grassy field fringed with banana and acacia trees beneath the soaring Himalayas, waiting for a helicopter to carry the supplies to remote, quake-hit villages.

Soon, the UN food agency was expected to deliver

shipments of high-energy food biscuits to be sent out to areas without enough water for

cooking, Pinnock said. The first-aid shipments had reached Dhading district, just east of Gorhka, he said.