Wednesday 28 September 2016

Vigil marks month since Nepal quake

Published 25/05/2015 | 15:46

Nepalese people light candles during a vigil to mark the one-month anniversary of the deadly earthquake in Kathmandu (AP)
Nepalese people light candles during a vigil to mark the one-month anniversary of the deadly earthquake in Kathmandu (AP)

Hundreds of people have held a candlelight vigil in Nepal's capital to mark one month since the earthquake that killed thousands of people and affected millions.

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About 200 people gathered at the Brikutimandap grounds in the heart of Kathmandu to remember the dead. They held a minute of silence, lit candles and signed messages in memory of those killed.

"We are here to pray for peace of the people who were killed and to pledge that we will rebuild the country," student Suresh Niraula said.

In the afternoon about 400 people held hands to form a human chain around the site where Dharahara tower once stood. The Dharahara tower, built in 1832 with a 213-step spiral staircase, once offered a panoramic view of the capital. Its collapse in the earthquake crushed at least five dozen people.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake on April 25 and another powerful quake on May 12 together killed nearly 8,700 people and injured 16,800 others.

The government and development agencies are seeking money from donors to help rebuild Nepal.

The United Nations appealed for 423 million dollars (£273 million) to cover key emergency sectors for three months.

UN official Jamie McGoldrick said only 22% has been funded, "a very big gap in what we need to make sure that response to this crisis is effective, efficient".

Food, tents and medicine are being flown by helicopters to remote villages in the mountains where roads do not exist or where landslides triggered by the earthquake block the way.

"We are not very well resourced for this operation so we need the international donor community to step in. Working in this country is four or five times more expensive logistically than it is in other countries. So we need the resources or we will not be able to operate," said World Food Programme's Richard Regan.

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