An Icelandic aid worker in Nepal says the scale of the destruction there is massive and that many months of rescue, salvage and construction work lie ahead. Rescue workers are only now reaching many of the most isolated mountain villages which were worst affected by the earthquake. Nepal is in a three day period of official mourning.
Around 5,000 people are confirmed dead, but it is feared that figure could double as many people are still missing.
Net Hope, which is an umbrella organization of 43 of the world’s biggest humanitarian charities, arrived in Nepal in Monday, with its disaster response manager, Icelander Gísli Rafn Ólafsson. Net Hope specializes in getting communication systems up and running in disaster zones, and Gísli is currently working on the establishment of a control center in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu.
“My role is to assist in getting communications going at the scene, for example establishing an internet connection and similar. We have been doing that in places where coordinated efforts are in progress and then we will progress on to improving communications in areas outside Kathmandu in the coming days,” Gísli told Vísir.
“The first rescue teams have been going yesterday and today into areas nearest the epicenter where the damage is much worse and are saying that whole villages have been wiped out. There is a lot of work ahead though life is just starting to move back towards the ordinary here, it is a different story up there in the mountains.”
Gísli will be in Nepal for at least the next three weeks.