By Anil Giri
Kathmandu, May 10 (IANS) Snowfall, avalanches and landslides following the April 25 temblor have hit hard rescue and relief work in three remote districts of Nepal where officials fear over 100 people may still need to be rescued.
The avalanches are occurring in one of the major trekking routes of the country, Langtang, seriously disrupting the rescue work in the earthquake-ravaged area.
Gajendra Kumar Thakur, member secretary at the District Disaster Management Committee and a local development officer, said the Nepal Army’s rescue team had taken out 90 bodies, including those of nine foreigners, from the area.
But the status of 150 others, including foreigners, remains unknown.
Lt. Col. Anup Jung Thapa said huge piles of debris caused by avalanches in and around the area were preventing rescuers from proceeding to the affected places.
As many as 160 houses collapsed in the deadly quake that has claimed nearly 8,000 lives, injured thousands and caused widespread destruction in the Himalayan nation.
The earthquake also triggered some 150 aftershocks of varying intensity, which caused further landslides.
Another 183 locals, 20 labourers, 80 tourists, 40 tourist guides and 10 army personnel have been missing in the areas.
Also, 15 villages of northern Gorkha, the epicentre of the earthquake, remain disconnected due to avalanches that have struck the link road which connect these villages with the district headquarters.
“Dozens of landslides have hit the rescue bid,” said Suk Bahadur Gurung from Kerauja village over telephone. “Several parts of the link road have suffered cracks, making them very difficult to pass.”
Residents of these villages say dozens have perished in the landslide.
“Due to landslides and cracks on the link road, rescue teams could not reach these villages,” said another local, Dhan Prasad Gurung.
In desperation, residents of these villages are taking shelter in hydroelectric stations, schools, village buildings, schools, Buddhist temples and a community building.
After failing to clear the route, the local Gorkha administration is mulling to open two entry points close to the Tibet border so that relief goods reach 14 villages.
Out of 885 households in Kerauja village, only three are still standing, said Suk Bahadur.
More than 900 people have been waiting to be rescued since April 25 in remote Rasuwa district.
Rescue team also could not find their way due to recurrent landslides in that area.