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International relief efforts are underway but Nepal’s nightmare hasn’t ended

By David Leveille, KATHMANDU, (PRI): It’s been a month, and Nepal is still seriously rattled by aftershocks. Five on Wednesday, for example.

“Last night I slept through the first two ones thank God but I was just jolted by the 5:12 a.m. one,” says journalist Donatella Lorch, who lives in Kathmandu. “It came with a big bang and crack. Usually aftershocks are very short in duration these days because it’s already been a month since the original earthquake. But this one lasted many seconds and it became a rolling sensation as well.”

That 7.8 quake a month ago started a seismic series that has killed more than 8,700 people and injured 16,800. Another quake and hundreds of aftershocks later, the country is still struggling to get back on its feet. Hundreds of thousands more are living outside or in tents.

“The group that faces the most challenges in terms of rebuilding their lives here in Nepal are those who live in the countryside, in the remote villages in the mountains of Nepal. Most of them are very difficult to assess, with very isolated roads that are mostly dirt and narrow, or washed out by landslides,” says Lorch. It can take hours and hours to reach these villages near landslide areas by vehicle, she says, “but then you have to walk for many hours after that to get to the villages to deliver aid that you have to carry in on your back or on a mule.”

The UN’s World Food Program announced this week it’s hiring thousands of mountain guides and other workers to carry food, medicine, supplies to the remote and mostly inaccessible villages cut off by earthquake-triggered landslides. Some of the workers will also be tasked with repairing trails.

fields at Barpak village:: Earthquake victims, carrying tin roofs to rebuild a house, walk along a track near fields at Barpak village at the epicenter of the April 25 earthquake in Gorkha district, Nepal, May 21, 2015. Credit: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Meanwhile, the frightening aftershocks and tremor still take a toll.

“You get used to it after a while. You have a little bit of shakes during it,” Lorch says. “I always check out my house after the big aftershocks to make sure there are not any new cracks or any serious cracks that have deepened. But my big worry is that there would be another major earthquake, which is always a possibility here in Nepal.”

Meanwhile, the frightening aftershocks and tremor still take a toll.

proxyQuake-hit Nepal seeks experts’ advice on tourism – BBC News
Tourism operators in earthquake-hit Nepal seek guidance from international experts on which areas can be declared safe for trekking and mountaineering.

:: Earthquake victims from Langtang district gathers to receive food at a Tibetan monastery, a month after the April 25 earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal May 28, 2015. Credit: Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters

Published Date: Friday, May 29th, 2015 | 08:03 AM

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