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Death Toll passes 6,000 in Nepal and is expected to rise to above 10,000

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The death toll arising from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday has surpassed 6,000 with more than 14,000 people injured. There are thousands of more people who are as yet unaccounted for and the Nepalese government has indicated that the number could climb above 10,000 victims.

It is the worst earthquake to hit the country since one that registered 8.1 on the Richter Scale in 1934 killed more than 19,000 people. Given the vast and geographical nature of the region worst hit in Nepal, it is impossible to know how many more thousands have lost their lives.

Bad weather and landslides in the aftermath of the main earthquake as well as a number of powerful aftershocks have hampered rescue attempts in more remote parts of Nepal. In urban areas, the government has ordered that unclaimed bodies be immediately cremated in order to prevent disease from spreading.

The Red Cross has reported that Sindhupalchok, north of Kathmandu, is the worst affected area with "90% of homes destroyed" and a current death toll of over 1,500. Gorkha, which was at the epicentre of the earthquake, has been very slow to receive assistance and the number of victims in the area could run into the thousands with dozens of villages believed to have been destroyed entirely.

The United Nations this week has appealed for $415 million dollars in order to support Nepal in the coming months but so far donations have been slow in coming with just $6 million confirmed. With only 10 helicopters reportedly servicing the entire country, China is expected to provide more helicopters in the coming weeks as well as over $10 million in aid funding.

Yesterday, two good news stories dominated the headlines after a 15 year old boy and a woman were separately pulled out alive from underneath rubble after being buried for 5 days in Kathmandu. However, these two cases are proving to be the exception to the rule as more and more victims are uncovered with each day that passes.

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