Nepal death toll over 5200, with monsoons approaching

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The death toll from the devastating Nepali quake has risen to over 5200, and the United Nations said it has affected 8 million people across 39 districts, with a quarter of those in the worst affected areas. Some 70,000 houses were destroyed and another 530,000 homes damaged across the quake-affected districts.

Half a million tents are urgently needed for the huge number of people forced from their homes, a government minister said Wednesday, as rescue efforts continue in the stricken nation. The Nepali government has so far provided more than 4,700 tents and 22,000 tarpaulins to those in need of shelter. Aircraft loaded with tents are expected from India and Thailand in the next day, with a further 100,000 tents expected from Pakistan.

Heavy rain has intensified the hardships for the countless Nepalis who are sleeping out in the open because their homes were destroyed or they don’t feel safe inside buildings amid continuing aftershocks.

“We are staring down the barrel of the approaching monsoon across the subcontinent, and here in Nepal that typically lasts from May through to September,” Matt Darvas, an emergency communications officer for the humanitarian group World Vision, said. That can generally mean “heavy downpours every day — and extreme heat,” he added.

The US Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors earthquakes worldwide, reported that the Nepal earthquake measured at a magnitude of 7.8. However, the China Earthquakes Network Center (CENC), which hopes to provide a similar service, measured the same earthquake at a magnitude of 8.1.

A difference of 0.3 in the magnitude of the seismic activity may not seem like much, but the apparently small differences in magnitudes of earthquakes reported by different agencies around the world are, in real-life, huge. Because if we are to believe the Chinese data, the Nepal earthquake may have been twice in size than if we believe the US data.

This entry was posted in , by Grant Montgomery.

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