Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said the death toll from Saturday's earthquake could reach 10,000, as more information came in from remote villages. At least 4,600 people have been killed by the massive quake centred about 50 miles outside the nation's capital, Kathmandu.
"The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing," Koirala said. "It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal."
Though relief efforts were pouring in from around the world, many people in mountainous areas were still without aid, medicine and shelter. Aid efforts were slowed by rain Tuesday and the country continues to suffer from aftershocks, causing more damage.
Amazingly, on Tuesday a 28-year-old man was pulled from the rubble of a destroyed building, after 80 hours without food or water. “It seems he survived by sheer willpower,” said Akhilesh Shritha, a doctor who treated the man.
On Monday, Ontario-based Aeryon Labs dispatched three drone aircraft to Kathmandu, to work with first-responders at Global Medic, a non-profit that provides drinking water and shelter to disaster victims.
“You can send them into areas that are inaccessible,” said Global Medic executive director Rajul Singh. “If I can’t get past the road I can’t put the UAV up there to see if anyone is there that needs my help. There are not enough helicopters in Nepal right now, and they shouldn’t be taking pictures, they should be flying aid.”
Meanwhile, relief helicopters reached remote areas of Nepal on Tuesday bearing much-needed supplies for earthquake-stricken villagers, AFP reports.
"The ground keeps shaking, even this morning it did. Every time it feels like we will be swallowed, that we will die now. I want to get out of here!" said Sita Gurung, 24, whose home was flattened.
The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday. Since then the death toll has continued to rise. The UN has estimatedthat eight million people, or more than a quarter of Nepal's population, have been affected.