SINGATI, Nepal (Reuters) - Dozens of people, including relief workers who had been transporting emergency supplies, were still missing in and around the Nepali village of Singati on Friday, three days after a major earthquake triggered a landslide in the area.
After the April 25 quake killed more than 8,000 people and destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings across the Himalayan nation, Tuesday’s tremor brought renewed terror to remote areas east of the capital Kathmandu.
A local official said 12 bodies had been recovered from the rubble of Singati’s buildings, most of which had been flattened by earth and boulders cascading down the hillside.
The corpse of one man could still be seen pinned beneath a concrete structure. In the remains of the village market, a 40-year-old man was in tears as he scoured a collapsed building.
“I‘m looking for my son. He’s missing,” said Rawne Bisunke, whose 16-year-old son had gone to buy a bus ticket in the bazaar when Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck.
On the road leading out of the village, which lies about 75 km east of the capital Kathmandu, further landslides have hampered search efforts for a missing aid convoy, Dolakha district administrator Prem Lal Lamichane told Reuters.
“Some vehicles carrying relief materials and several villagers trying to get to that relief are feared buried in the landslide,” he said.
“Rescue workers are struggling to reach the area because of landslides.”
A survivor of this week’s earthquake in Singati described being caught between two huge falls of dirt and rocks.
“I couldn’t see anything. The air was full of dust,” said Dhurbu Tsering, who is from a village in Dolakha and lives in Queens, New York.
“I was breathing, but I don’t know how,” he said.
Tsering was stuck in Singati for two days before he was able to get a ride to the district centre, Charikot.
More than 100 people are known to have died in Tuesday’s aftershock, which followed April’s far stronger 7.8 earthquake.
The April quake triggered more than 400 landslides, the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development estimated.
In one of the biggest in Langtang, hundreds of people were buried under a wall of rock, dirt and snow that wiped out an entire village popular with trekkers and climbers.
It may take months to recover many of the missing, as further rock slides and bad weather have hampered search efforts.
The United Nations said on Friday the window of opportunity to help survivors of the disasters in Nepal was “closing quickly”, with less than 15 percent of the amount of money needed for relief efforts so far raised.
Additional reporting by Krista Mahr and Gopal Sharma in; Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Douglas Busvine and Mike Collett-White