Nepal earthquake: death toll could reach 10,000, says PM

Nepal earthquake

Nepal’s prime minister, Sushil Koirala, has warned that the number killed in the earthquake could more than double to 10,000 people. He also ordered rescue efforts to be stepped up and appealed for foreign supplies of tents and medicines.
The official death toll for Saturday’s earthquake has currently stands at 4,349, with more than 6,500 injured, as the nation struggles to provide relief to thousands of survivors.
In one village reached by the Guardian every home had been damaged or destroyed. Residents of Barkobot village in Sindhupalchowk district said they had had no aid despite being just an hour and a half on good roads from Kathmandu. But helicopters have begun ferrying wounded from Gorkha close to the epicentre of the earthquake.
Heavy rain has added to the hardship of thousands of people forced to sleep rough for fourth night , after the earthquake destroyed their homes. Water, food and power are scarce, raising fears of waterborne diseases.
The UN estimates that eight million people have been affected by the earthquake. The World Food Programme says 1.4 million people are in need of immediate help.
A German geography professor has been named as one of the victims of the Nepal earthquake. Mathias Kuhle, 67, from Georg August University in Göttingen, had been travelling on a scientific expedition with 15 of his students.
People are growing increasingly frustrated by what they say has been a slow government response. Koirala insisted the government was doing all it could.
Private hospitals in Katmandu have been ordered to treat earthquake victims free of charge, after reports that they were turning away some people because they could not afford the fees. Private hospitals that refuse to treat earthquake victims will have their registration revoked, the government warned.
Australia’s foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, said 1,150 Australian citizens in affected area had now been contacted, up from about 830 on Monday, and they were “safe and well”.-TheGuardian