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Nepal Quake; Death Toll Could Reach 10,000 Says PM

Nepal’s prime minister has revealed that the number of people killed in the country’s worst earthquake in decades could reach 10,000.

Sushil Koirala made this comment on Tuesday after rescuers in Nepal were struggling to reach remote communities.

With the UN estimating eight million people have been hit by the disaster, Koirala said getting help to some of the worst affected areas was a “major challenge”.

He said authorities were overwhelmed by appeals for help from remote Himalayan villages left devastated by Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake.

Mass cremations took place overnight after the government ordered the continuous burning of the bodies to prevent the spread of diseases.

Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, home ministry spokesperson, said on Tuesday that the official death toll had risen to 4,310, with a further 7,953 known to have been injured.

In places like Kathmandu’s Basantapur Durbar Square, rescue teams were scrambling to clear the debris to find bodies and possibly survivors trapped underneath.

Heavy rain in Kathmandu was hampering rescue efforts and also adding to the suffering of those made homeless by the quake or sleeping out in the open in fear of aftershocks.

Many spent the night in tents, returning only briefly to their homes to pick up supplies.

With fears rising of food and water shortages, Nepalis were rushing to stores and petrol stations to stock up on essential supplies in Kathmandu.

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