Gift of the Givers to assist quake-stricken Nepal
Officials have confirmed 3,218 people have been killed while 6,538 others have been injured.
JOHANNESBURG - More countries and organisations have pledged to help earthquake-stricken Nepal, including local aid group, Gift of the Givers, which is preparing to dispatch a team of search and rescue experts.
The 7.8 magnitude quake struck on Saturday.
Officials in the south Asian country have confirmed 3,218 people have been killed while 6,538 others have been injured. Nepalese rescue members move the body of a victim from the collapsed Darahara Tower in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015. A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, causing massive damage in the capital Kathmandu with strong tremors felt across neighbouring countries. Picture: AFP.
Nepalese rescue members move the body of a victim from the collapsed Darahara Tower in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015. A powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, causing massive damage in the capital Kathmandu with strong tremors felt across neighbouring countries. Picture: AFP.
Up to 70 percent of houses in rural areas have been destroyed close to the epicentre in Gorkha.
The United States (US) has also pledged an initial $1 million in immediate humanitarian assistance.
A US Disaster Response and Rescue team is expected to arrive in the capital Kathmandu this morning.
US aid's Jeremy Konyndyk says it's a team of over 60 experts.
"That's a team of about 57 search and rescue experts from Fairfax County Fire Department, accompanied by 13 humanitarian experts from USAID." Map of Nepal locating the first quake Saturday, the strongest afterhocks. Graphic: AFP.
Map of Nepal locating the first quake Saturday, the strongest afterhocks. Graphic: AFP.
A South African woman has told Eyewitness News about the ensuing panic and chaos after her husband and six others were stranded in Nepal .
Candice Goodman says her husband, Errol and the other hikers are still stranded and unable to get home after planes were grounded due to the powerful aftershocks.
Goodman says her husband spent Saturday night outside as aftershocks continued through Nepal and planes were grounded.
"He heard of extra flights today but nobody has any answers for them. So that's why I've been in communication with him all night to try and get them a flight out."
The only contact she has had with her husband, since the quake hit has been a few SMSes and an email making it impossible to find a way home for him.
"He's very in control; he says that he's in control. He's made the right decisions I mustn't worry, he's a very competent man."
Candice has told EWN that information is thin because authorities are not geared up for the repatriation efforts of thousands stranded.
WATCH: Massive earthquake rocks Nepal
Meanwhile, Thousands of desperate Nepalese huddled under tents and sought scarce food and medical supplies on Monday.
The sick and wounded lay out in the open in the capital, Kathmandu, unable to find beds in the devastated city's hospitals. Surgeons set up an operating theatre inside a tent in the grounds of Kathmandu Medical College.
"We are overwhelmed with rescue and assistance requests from all across the country," said Deepak Panda, a member of the country's disaster management.
Across Kathmandu and beyond, exhausted families whose homes were either flattened or at risk of collapse laid mattresses out on streets and erected tents to shelter from rain.
People queued for water dispensed from the back of trucks, while the few stores still open had next to nothing on their shelves. Crowds jostled for medicine at one pharmacy.
High in the Himalayas, hundreds of foreign and Nepalese climbers remained trapped after a huge avalanche ripped through the Mount Everest base camp, killing 17 people in the single worst disaster to hit the world's highest mountain.
A total of 3,218 people were confirmed killed in the 7.9 magnitude quake, a police official said on Monday, the worst in Nepal since 1934 when 8,500 died. More than 6,500 were injured.
Another 66 were killed across the border in India and at least another 20 in Tibet, China's state news agency said.
The toll is likely to climb as rescuers struggle to reach remote regions in the impoverished, mountainous country of 28 million people and as bodies buried under rubble are recovered.
"The rescue workers are in a really bad shape. We are all about to collapse. We have worked two straight nights," said home ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal. Nepalese residents walk past road damage following an earthquake in Kathmandu on 26 April, 2015. Picture: AFP.
Nepalese residents walk past road damage following an earthquake in Kathmandu on 26 April, 2015. Picture: AFP.
With so many people sleeping in the open with no power or water and downpours forecast, fears mounted of major food and water shortages. Across Nepal, hundreds of villages have been left to fend for themselves.
"There is no electricity, no water. Our main challenge and priority is to restore electricity and water," Dhakal said.
"The next big challenge is the supply of food. Shopkeepers are unable to go in and open their shops. So people are facing difficulty buying food."
WATCH: Historic Nepal tower collapses
Additional reporting by Reuters.