The Latest on Nepal: Diarrhea fears in worst-hit quake areas

AP News
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Posted: May 03, 2015 12:26 AM
The Latest on Nepal: Diarrhea fears in worst-hit quake areas

10:10 a.m. (0425 GMT)

Nepal's health secretary says there have been reports of people being hit by diarrhea in several districts in remote mountain villages worst-hit by the April 25 earthquake. However, he says there is no epidemic yet and authorities hope to bring it under control.

Health Secretary Santa Shrestha said Sunday that health teams with medicine have rushed to many of the affected areas.

Earlier, the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, warned of the risks of disease on children following the quake.

"With the monsoon season only a few weeks away, children will be at heightened risk of diseases like cholera and diarrhea infections, as well as being more vulnerable to the threat of landslides and floods," the agency said.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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10:10 a.m. (0425 GMT)

Government offices in Nepal have reopened, eight days after the massive earthquake.

Government employees were ordered to help in rescue efforts last week, but offices resumed full function Sunday. The Home Ministry said 24,703 government office buildings were damaged by the quake.

Nepal's Supreme court said it was shutting down work for a few more days because of major damage to the building in the center of Kathmandu.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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7:15 a.m. (0130 GMT)

Officials in Nepal say the death toll from last weekend's massive earthquake has climbed past 7,000.

National police officer Babu Kanji Giri said Sunday that the death toll had reached 7,040 as more bodies are found in the debris.

The Home Ministry said that 14,123 people were injured in the April 25 quake. Of them, 6,512 are being treated in hospitals.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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9:30 p.m. (1545 GMT)

Nepal's Home Ministry official Laxmi Dhakal says hopes of finding any more survivors are fading away as more than a week has passed since the massive earthquake.

He says: "Unless they were caught in an air pocket, there is not much possibility."

Two survivors — a 15-year-old boy and a woman in her 20s — were rescued from the rubble on Thursday.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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9 p.m. (1515 GMT)

Dozens of Nepalese have gathered in central Kathmandu's Maitighar Mandala Park to recite a prayer and light candles for those who perished in the earthquake.

A woman cried, a boy said a prayer and others placed candles on the ground to form a map of Nepal, wishing that victims can be united to overcome their grief.

Nila Shrestha, a 31-year-old Kathmandu resident, appealed to the world to continue sending aid to Nepal.

— Koji Ueda, Kathmandu, Nepal

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6:10 p.m. (1225 GMT)

Nepal police say the death toll from last week's magnitude-7.8 earthquake has climbed to 6,841, as more reports come in from remote areas and rescue workers dig out more bodies from under the rubble.

More than 14,000 people have been reported injured.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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5:50 p.m. (1205 GMT)

In Kathmandu, hundreds of volunteers have turned out to help those who have been left homeless by the magnitude-7.8 quake a week ago.

They have collected clothes, medicines, packaged food and money and are distributing it at the Bhrikutimandap, an exhibition ground in the city.

Doctors, engineers, business executives and office workers folded donated clothes and packed medicines to be sent across neighborhoods.

"We are gathering whatever we can. Our priority is providing medicines and clean drinking water and warn people about the possibility of spread of disease," said a visibly exhausted Srijana Jyoti, a businesswoman.

Jyoti said they have been shipping out water storage tanks to those in need.

"Water is the essential and we are trying to get them access to clean drinking water," she said, adding they are printing banners in the local language telling what precautions to take to avoid getting sick.

— Binaj Gurubacharya, Kathmandu, Nepal.

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5 p.m. (1130 GMT)

UNICEF says the health and well-being of children affected by the earthquake are hanging in the balance — many are homeless, in deep shock and with no access to basic care.

There is also worry about the monsoon season and the risk of diseases like cholera and diarrheal infections.

With about 40 percent of children stunted in Nepal, UNICEF is raising alarm about the effect of the earthquake on their nutrition. It says that at least 15,000 children with severe acute malnutrition require therapeutic feeding.

There is also an urgent need for children in the 12 most affected districts to get back to their normal routine by setting up child-friendly spaces, opening schools and providing access to basic services, such as health and water.

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1:15 p.m. (0730 GMT)

A week after a massive earthquake shook Nepal, angry villagers in some parts of central Sindhupalchok district say they're still waiting for aid to reach them.

In Pauwathok, three trucks sped by without stopping Saturday. One of the trucks had police with automatic weapons, escorting the two others, which were covered by tarps.

"What about us?" screamed the villagers. But the trucks sped off without halting. Of the 85 homes in Pauwathok, all but a handful were destroyed in the magnitude-78 quake that struck April 25.

"Nobody has come here to help us. No government, no police, no aid," said 71-year-old Badri Giri.

The villagers said they were barely eating once a day, surviving with whatever they could forage from the debris of their collapsed homes.

"We have no homes, no place to live anymore. We are sleeping outside," Giri said.

— Todd Pitman, Pauwathok, Nepal