KATHMANDU, May 3 – The Nepal April 25 massive earthquake death toll continues to swell as rescuers found more dead bodies from the rubble of the collapsed houses on Sunday. So far, 7,040 bodies had been recovered from the rubble of which 6,650 were handed over to the relatives for their last rites, said officials at the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), set up under the home ministry to coordinate the rescue and relief efforts.

More bodies were recovered from the rubble on Saturday and Sunday and the death toll could still rise as the rescue operations could go on for more days, said Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, spokesperson at the home ministry. The number of injured has so far reached 14,398, according to the NEOC. In the earthquake, as many as 315,557 houses were damaged, of which 151,760 were completely destroyed.

Dhakal said the government had released NPR1.35 billion (US$1.35 million) to be distributed as immediate relief to the families of the dead and the victims of the earthquake, like performing the last rites and doing minor repairs to the damaged houses. The government has already announced a relief package for the families of the deceased and victims as immediate response.

It has already distributed 6,312 quintals of rice, 345 quintals of salt and 310 quintals of sugar to victims of the earthquake, according to the home ministry officials. The government has also distributed ready-to-eat items like 900,132 cartons of noodles, 10,638 quintals of beaten rice, 27,739 cases of biscuits and 6,298 cases of bottled water in the 30 worst-hit districts of Nepal. The government has projected the death toll to exceed 10,000.

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