TWO men from Malaga, Alfonso Munoz and his son Fonsi, are amongst the thousands of people stranded in Nepal after the weekend’s catastrophic earthquakes.
With the death toll now superseding 3,000, it is reported by the National Emergency Operation Centre that there are also some 6,500 injured, as well as dozens of people reportedly killed in neighbouring China and India.
The two Spaniards have contacted home to say they are safe, but unable to get out of the area. They said: “When the earth began to move people ran in panic, in all directions, it threw me to the ground and our only thought was to find a place that would stop objects falling on us.”
Alfonso and Fonsi are now trapped in a Kathmandu hotel, waiting to get out of the country.
As the aftershocks continue, vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, while international rescue teams intensify searches. Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote, mountainous areas of western Nepal.
Reports from the BBC say the weather cleared on Monday morning and helicopters were heading out to the Mount Everest base camp to try to bring down 210 stranded climbers.
With almost one million children needing urgent aid, UN spokeswoman Orla Fagan, who is heading to Nepal, said preventing the spread of disease was one of the most important tasks facing aid workers.
“There are 14 international medical teams on the way and either 14 or 15 international search and rescue teams on the way,” she said. “They need to get in as soon as possible. To assist in this, they will use military aircraft to get them into Nepal.”
The British government said it had released £3 million to address immediate needs and £2 million would be given to the Red Cross. In addition, Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that a UK search and rescue team was travelling to Nepal on Sunday night with RAF aircraft being sent on today (Monday).