Nepal on “War Footing” as Death Toll Tops 5,000

The death toll from Saturday's magnitude-7.8 earthquake in Nepal topped 5,000 on Tuesday, as the government pushed back against criticism over a slow response and as a landslide near a trekking route left hundreds more people missing. Rescuers were still digging bodies out of the rubble in the capital Kathmandu, centuries-old buildings were flattened by Saturday’s quake and many were sleeping outside in vast tent cities for fear of being buried in further aftershocks. "The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing," the prime minister told Reuters. "It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal." Some 8 million people have been affected — with 1.4 million in urgent need of food supplies, according to the United Nations. Further complicating the relief effort, a heavy rainstorm broke out in Kathmandu on Tuesday, and on Tuesday, an avalanche hit a village near a trekking route. Up to 250 people were missing afterward.

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