Aid dispersal begins in quake-hit areasBut victims in several far-flung villages away from roads are yet to receive any assistance.
The District Disaster Management Committee in Jajarkot started the distribution of relief materials through the local units in the earthquake affected areas on Monday.
Suresh Sunar, chief district officer of Jajarkot, said that tarpaulins, blankets, food stuff and utensils were provided to the displaced families who have spent the past few days out in the open fields.
“We have ensured that relief has reached the affected areas. Several social and non-governmental organisations have extended their support to us,” said Sunar.
However, the relief materials dispatched to the local units have yet to reach villages in remote locations. There are still several settlements where the earthquake survivors are waiting for help and resources to see them through the next few days as they cope with the aftermath of the disaster.
Nalgad Municipality, one of the most affected local units by the earthquake, and several other settlements situated in difficult topography have not received any kind of relief or support, the survivors say.
In Chiuritol in ward 1 of Nalgad Municipality, 13 people from six families were killed in the earthquake and 56 houses were completely destroyed, while 110 houses, although still standing, have become inhabitable and have not received any relief or help until now.
Bhakta Bahadur Sunar from Chiuritol, a mostly Dalit settlement, said that government officials and security personnel got to areas connected to road networks on Monday but did not reach villages like Chiuritol. He says that the survivors are waiting for help to arrive as they spend days and nights out in the open with limited food supply and medical aid.
“It’s been three days since the earthquake and government officials and security personnel are yet to reach this village,” said Bhakta Bahadur. “We lost all of our food grain and clothes. If only the security personnel had reached our village today, we would have been able to salvage some of the food grain and retrieve warm clothes from the debris.”
Although the district administration officials said they would complete the distribution of relief by Monday, until nightfall, Chiuritol locals were still waiting for aid.
A long queue of trucks carrying relief materials were still making their way to the affected areas along the 170-kilometre section of the Chhinchu-Jajarkot road.
In Jajarkot, except for Cheda-Dhungil, Khalanga-Panchakatiya, and the Bheri corridor, there are no other road networks in the district. Although there are smaller roads leading to the villages, it is difficult for trucks to use these roads to reach the villages. Relief materials have been distributed only in the settlements closer to the roads.
Like Chiuritol, Pipe Maide settlement in ward 1 of Bheri Municipality and other remote settlements in Kushe Municipality, Chhedagad Municipality, and Barekot Rural Municipality had not received relief materials until late evening Monday.
According to the district administration office, a majority of affected settlements have received relief materials, but those in remote locations have yet to get help.
Harichandra Sharma, assistant chief district officer of Jajarkot, said that around 7,000 tarpaulins and 7,000 blankets were distributed on Monday. In Bheri Municipality, where some 344 households have been rendered homeless, around 1,984 blankets and 1,777 tarpaulins were distributed, along with 942 sacks of rice and 35 mattresses.
On Monday, Jajarkot and surrounding areas were hit by aftershocks. According to the National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Centre, a 5.8-magnitude earthquake was recorded at 4:31 pm with the epicentre in Ramidanda of Jajarkot. Another aftershock of magnitude 4.5 was recorded at 4:40 pm.
The aftershocks triggered a landslide on the Paripatti hill in Rukum. Further damage and details of the earthquake and its aftershocks on Monday are being collected.