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Heavy Rain Hampers Nepal Earthquake Rescue Effort

© REUTERS / IFRC/Handout via ReutersPeople watch as rescuers search for bodies at the site of a building which collapsed during an earthquake in Bhaktapur near of Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 29, 2015
People watch as rescuers search for bodies at the site of a building which collapsed during an earthquake in Bhaktapur near of Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 29, 2015 - Sputnik International
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Bad weather has prevented rescue helicopters from flying to the worst-hit areas in Nepal's countryside in the wake of last week's devastating earthquake.

A woman walks across the rubble of a collapsed building following an earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal in this Red Cross handout picture taken on April 28, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Rescue helicopters have failed to reach the worst-hit areas in Nepal due to torrential rain that came as the country grapples with the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake, news reports said.

"There may not be any more survivors. The rain is adding to the problems. Nature seems to be against us," Rameshwor Dandal, chief of the disaster management center at Nepal's Home Ministry, said.

Nepal's National Emergency Operation Centre, for its part, reported that the death toll now stands at 5,489. Almost 11,000 people more were injured in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the country last Saturday.

The disaster rode roughed over at least 30 of the country's 75 districts, mostly in the northern mountainous regions, where road accessibility remains an issue when conducting relief work.

Meanwhile, the UN has said in a report that its search-and-rescue (SAR) operations were still restricted outside of the Kathmandu Valley.

"Some villages can only be reached by foot, with some areas taking up to four to five days to reach. Fuel to transport SAR teams is limited," the report said.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond gestures during a press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London - Sputnik International
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On Wednesday, riots erupted over the slow pace of the rescue operation; they broke out near government buildings in Kathmandu, where protesters demanded that the authorities should do more to speed up aid supplies to those in need.

The government admitted that the aftermath of the "huge and unprecedented disaster" is yet to be resolved. According to Nepalese Communications Minister Minendra Rijal, the government "has not been in a position to meet the expectations of the needy people." Rijal pledged "to accept [the government's] weakness, learn and move ahead in the best way possible."

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