Nepal earthquakes: Only fraction of aid need has been met, U.N. says

Story highlights

  • The death toll in Nepal rises to 117; others killed in India and China
  • U.S. officials: Wreckage of helicopter carrying six Marines and two Nepalis has been found
  • "The land has cracked open in many places," says a farmer near the epicenter
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Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)While Nepal struggles with the aftermath of two massive earthquakes that have killed more than 8,000 people, only a fraction of the aid that the country needs has been committed by the international community, a United Nations agency said Friday.

So far, only 14% of the humanitarian aid sought by the United Nations for the relief effort in Nepal has been met, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. That means only $59 million has been committed, of the $423 million requested, since the first quake struck last month.
    The international community needs to do more, the OCHA said.
    "We are not out of the emergency situation yet," said Leszek Barczak, public information officer for the OCHA.
    "Some 500,000 to 600,000 families have lost their homes in the two earthquakes. Shelter is the minimum for the people to get on with their lives."
    Friday's appeal came as the death toll from Tuesday's major earthquake -- the second in Nepal in less than three weeks -- climbed Friday to 117, according to Nepal's Home Ministry.
    Rescue and relief teams continued to try to reach remote areas near the epicenter of Tuesday's magnitude-7.3 quake.
    As that effort continued, the wreckage of a U.S. military helicopter that went missing Tuesday evening in the region as it took part in relief efforts for the first quake was spotted Friday on a mountainside after intensive searches from the air and on foot.
    Three bodies have been found with the wreckage, Nepal's defense secretary said. The aircraft had six U.S. Marines and two Nepali service members aboard.
    As the grim rescue and recovery efforts continue, Nepal's Home Ministry said Friday that the total number of fatalities in Nepal had reached 8,460 since the first magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck on April 25. A total of 6,271 people are still receiving treatment for their injuries, 1,700 of them after Tuesday's quake.
    Dozens of people have been pulled alive from rubble, officials said.
    Another 17 people were reported dead from Tuesday's quake in India, and one person in China.
    Nepal was already struggling to deal with the devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan nation on April 25, killing more than 8,000 people and flattening entire villages.

    'The land has cracked open'

    This week's quake brought buildings damaged by the earlier disaster crashing to the ground and released a new surge of panic among shell-shocked Nepalis.
    The epicenter was in a rugged area of the district of Dolakha, east of the capital, Kathmandu.
    "The land has cracked open in many places, many people don't even have a spot to put their tents," said Krishna Siwakoti, a farmer who lives near the epicenter.
    "The situation is dire. We are isolated," he told CNN, saying the quake had set off landslides "all around us."

    Heaping destruction upon devastation

    Tuesday's quake struck at the same depth as the April temblor, but it was several times weaker and centered roughly 140 kilometers (87 miles) farther east.
    It still managed to wreak fresh havoc in already badly damaged areas.
    In Sindupalchowk, a poor district that suffered the heaviest human toll in the April disaster, it set off new landslides. Anil Thapa, a journalist there, reported that multiple houses had fallen.
    In Dolakha, Siwakoti said that the April quake brought down about half the 1,400 houses in his area. And then, Tuesday's temblor flattened most of the rest, leaving just 5% of the houses habitable, he said.

    Victims fear more quakes, sleep outside

    Officials said they were still trying to reach some rural areas of Sindupalchowk and Dolakha where they feared the destruction could be severe.
    In Kathmandu, where temples and apartment buildings collapsed in April, the new quake caused more damage to more structures and sent many terrified residents flooding into the streets.
    Once again, encampments of tents sprung up in open areas around the city as people opted to sleep outside rather than risk more tremors from continuing aftershocks. Others, their homes destroyed, had no choice.