21st Century Wire says…
Tensions are running high in Nepal as government agencies and international aid organizations struggle to manage the devastation…
Breaking video report from AP:
President Barack Obama spoke with Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Wednesday about U.S. efforts to help the nation recover from its devastating earthquake, the White House said.
Obama told Koirala the United States will do all it can to help the people of Nepal, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
Meanwhile, Nepali villagers blocked trucks carrying supplies for earthquake victims on Wednesday, demanding the government do more to help after last week’s disaster left more than 5,200 people dead and tens of thousands homeless and short of food and water.
(Image Source: Wikicommons)
In the capital Kathmandu, about 200 people protested outside parliament, asking for more buses to go to their homes in remote parts of the Himalayan nation and to hasten the distribution of aid that has flooded into the country but been slow to reach those in need.
In Sangachowk village in one of the worst-hit districts, about three hours by road from the capital, scores of angry villagers blocked the road with tires.
They stopped two trucks headed for the district capital with rice, noodles and biscuits. Later they blocked a convoy of three army trucks with relief supplies, leading to a tense standoff with armed soldiers.
“We have been given no food by the government,” said Udhav Giri, 34.
“Trucks carrying rice go past and don’t stop. The district headquarters is getting all the food,” he said.
The government was struggling to fully assess the devastation wrought by Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude quake.
“This is a disaster on an unprecedented scale. There have been some weaknesses in managing the relief operation,” Nepal’s Communication Minister Minendra Rijal said late on Tuesday.
An official from Nepal’s home ministry said the number of confirmed deaths had risen to 5,238 by Wednesday night. Almost 10,350 were injured in Nepal, and more than 80 were also killed in India and Tibet.
Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has said the death toll could reach 10,000, with information on casualties and damage from far-flung villages and towns yet to come in.
READ MORE NEPAL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Nepal Files