Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll exceeds 1,000 People

The total death toll has risen again, to 1,130 after a huge 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal this morning.

A Nepali police spokesman said the latest figure included at least 634 people in the Kathmandu Valley and at least 300 more in the capital.

The country’s deputy Prime Minister, Bamdev Gautam, has declared a state of emergency and appealed for humanitarian assistance across the region.

18 climbers were found dead on Mount Everest after the tremor triggered an avalanche. Many more are trapped.

The Guardian’s Anna Codrea-Rado has been talking to doctors and victims in Kathamndu’s main hospital. She sent this moving account:

Victims [in Kathmandu] were taken to the nearby Bir Emergency Hospital, where doctors battled to save lives and treat the wounded.

Gajendra Mani Shah, a doctor, told the Guardian the hospital was dealing mainly with head traumas and limb injuries from falling rubble. He estimated that the hospital had treated about 400 patients so far.

Shah was treating two Indian tourists with head injuries and said the hospital authorities were trying to get hold of the Indian embassy to inform them of the patients’ situation.

Victims at the hospital were lying in rows on mattresses, surrounded by blood-soaked tissues and overflowing bedpans. Patients also lined the corridors, hooked up to IVs hanging off metal railings behind them.

One family were sat with their 20-year-old relative, Kanchan Sunwar, who had collapsed when the earthquake struck. She had been with friends in the main square when they saw the buildings sway and start to fall.

Her friends said she fainted and has been in and out of conscious since she was brought to the hospital. “She’s in shock,” her family said.

The hospital was working over capacity into the evening, with doctors being called in from leave.

One doctor, Erabesh Gyawali was not meant to be on shift on Saturday, but he came into work after the first tremor hit. He was with his wife riding their scooter when the quake happened. They were thrown off the bike and narrowly missed being hit by falling rubble from a building.

Source: The Guardian