Nepal: Ban sends his condolences after earthquake hits Kathmandu Valley
“The reports of the devastation are still coming in and the numbers of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continue to rise,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement released on Saturday.
A situation report released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said Nepal's Government currently reports between 700 and 1,000 people killed but with that number expected to rise, and no figures currently available on the total number of people affected.
“It is clear that very many lives have been lost,” said Ban. “There has also been significant damage to Nepal's irreplaceable cultural heritage.”
Nepal's Government also reports that 30 of Nepal's 75 districts were affected, mainly in western and central regions, including the country's two largest cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara. Hospitals in the Kathmandu Valley are overcrowded, running out of room for storing dead bodies and also running short of emergency supplies.
The most affected districts were reported to be Sindulpalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha in the central region and Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung in the west. UN field offices reported that the eastern region was not badly affected and that the Terrai had been minimally affected.
“On behalf of the United Nations, I thank the first responders in all the affected countries who are working around the clock to save lives,” said Ban. “The United Nations is supporting the Government of Nepal in coordinating international search and rescue operations and is preparing to mount a major relief effort.”
The Government has requested international assistance in the response to the disaster, with particular importance placed on the need search and rescue capacity, medical teams, supplies and tenting for hospitals, heavy equipment for rubble removal and helicopters for transport and access to blocked areas.
Photo by Jim Holmes for AusAID.(13/2529)