KATHMANDU, May 7) — Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) has revealed that as many as three South Africans may still be missing in the earthquake-ravaged country where the the official death toll has risen to 7,493.
APF Deputy Inspector-General Baburam Pandey said Tuesday that according to their statistics from a central co-ordination centre, the three South Africans aere among 105 people who remain unaccounted for. Pandey said that as a result of the difficult terrain in the the mountainous districts, some villages are completely buried by landslides.
The popular tourist destination of Langtang was completely levelled by a landslide, killing nearly 100 people.
“We have been all over the country, but there are some places that have been completely covered by landslides and we are certain that in these areas we will still find bodies,” Pandey said.
“There were considerable limitations to our rescue efforts, considering the adverse terrain of the country. In the northern regions almost 90 per cent of all structures were destroyed and realistically it was chaos. We brought all the resources we could to bear, which was 130,000 men and women in total.”
Nepal teeters on the brink of a healthcare crisis, with Pandey confirming 6,082 of the 14,371 injured remained in need of medical care.
Meanwhile in Pretoria, Department of International Relations and Co-operation Spokesman Nelson Kgwete said all South African citizens who were on its list were accounted for.
“However, that list is not conclusive. It is possible that there are more citizens in Nepal,” he said, adding that the department’s list was only based on the names of people reported to the department.