Nepal quake death toll reaches 2,500

KATHMANDU: Rescuers in Nepal searched frantically Sunday for survivors of a quake that killed more than 2,500, digging through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu and airlifting victims of an avalanche at Everest base camp.
Terrified residents of Kathmandu were woken by fresh aftershocks in the worst disaster to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in more than 80 years, with many forced to spend the night trying to sleep out on the streets and open ground in tents.
Hospitals were so stretched that medics had to set up tents outside to treat patients.
The historic nine-storey Dharahara tower, a major tourist attraction, was among the buildings brought down Saturday, with at least a dozen bodies recovered from the ruins of the 19th-century tower.
Offers of help poured in from around the world, with the United States and European Union announcing they were sending in disaster response teams.
India flew out its stranded citizens in military planes while a 62-strong Chinese rescue team arrived with sniffer dogs.
National police spokesman Kamal Singh Bam said the number known to have died in Nepal had risen to 1,953 while 4,629 people had been injured.
Officials in India said the toll there now stood at 53, mainly in the eastern state of Bihar, while Chinese state media said 17 people had been killed in the Tibet region.”We have deployed all our resources for search and rescues,” Bam told.
“Helicopters have been sent to remote areas. We are sifting through the rubble where buildings have collapsed to see if we can find anyone.”
The Red Cross said it was concerned about the fate of villages near the epicentre of the quake northwest of Kathmandu.
Officials said 17 people were so far known to have died on Mount Everest where an avalanchetriggered by the earthquake buried part of base camp Saturday.
It is the deadliest disaster in Everest s history and comes almost exactly a year after anavalanche killed 16 sherpa guides.