About 100 bodies found in Nepal trekking village

Nepalese police team has retrieved bodies, including some foreign trekkers, from an area hit by landslides

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Nepali police and local volunteers found the bodies of about 100 trekkers and villagers buried in an avalanche set off by last month's devastating earthquake, officials said on Monday.

The bodies were recovered at the Langtang village, 60 kilometres north of Kathmandu. The village is on a popular trekking route and had 55 guesthouses catering to visitors. It was not clear how many people were there at the time of the avalanche.

"Local volunteers and police personnel are digging through six-feet (deep) snow with shovels looking for more bodies," said Gautam Rimal, assistant chief district officer in the area where Langtang is located.

The dead include at least 7 foreigners but only two had been identified, he said.

At least 200 other people are still missing in Langtang, including villagers and trekkers, said Uddhav Bhattarai, the most senior bureaucrat in the district.

Other officials said about 120 more people could be buried under the snow.

The April 25 earthquake has killed 7,276 people and wounded over 14,300, Nepal's government said. A total of 54 foreign nationals have been killed, including 38 Indians, three Americans, one British and one French citizen.

In other parts of the Himalayan nation, three people were pulled alive from the rubble of their home on Sunday, eight days after the earthquake. A 101-year-old man was found alive in the rubble on Saturday.

More than three-quarters of the buildings in Kathmandu are uninhabitable or unsafe according to a new survey carried out by more than 1,000 local engineers. The research have revealed that a fifth are no longer habitable and three-quarters need repairs before they can be considered safe.

The new assessment indicates a much greater number of buildings will need repairing than previously estimated by the Nepalese government. The government has already said post-quake reconstruction may cost more than $10bn.

Aftershocks continue to shake Kathmandu, convincing tens of thousands of people that it is still too dangerous to return home.

More than 4,000 foreigners from 34 countries had flown into assist with search and rescue operations following the quake.

US military aircraft and personnel are due to begin helping ferry relief supplies to stricken areas outside the capital, a U.S. Marines spokeswoman said.

The contingent comprised eight aircraft, including one Huey and two C-130s, and between 100 and 120 personnel, spokeswoman Captain Cassandra Gesecki said.

On Sunday, the government restricted the landing of large cargo aircraft at the airport to limit damage to the stressed runway. The ageing and under-equipped airport has proved a major logistical hurdle for the relief operation.

The United Nations has said 8 million of Nepal's 28 million people were affected by the quake, with at least 2 million needing tents, water, food and medicines over the next three months.

TRTWorld and agencies