KATHMANDU: Rescuers have pulled a 101-year-old man alive from his ruined home a week after Nepal’s earthquake claimed at least 7,200 lives, as the government warned Sunday the death toll will climb “much higher”.
Funchu Tamang was rescued on Saturday from the rubble of his house with only minor injuries to his ankle and hand, after the quake ripped through the impoverished country on April 25.
“He was brought to the district hospital in a helicopter. His condition is stable,” police officer Arun Kumar Singh told AFP from Nuwakot district, around 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu.
Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center, part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, tweeted that a 101-year-old was rescued in Nuwakot’s Kimtang village.
Police also pulled three women survivors from under rubble on Sunday in Sindhupalchowk, one of the worst-hit districts, although it was not immediately clear how long they had been trapped.
The rescues were rare good news for the devastated country after officials on Saturday ruled out finding more survivors buried in the ruins and the focus shifted to trying to deliver aid to thousands of people in remote Himalayan areas.
Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said the death toll was likely to jump once relief teams reach mountain villages flattened in the worst quake to hit the nation in more than 80 years.
“There are still villages where we know that all houses have been destroyed, but have not yet been able to reach,” Mahat said in a statement.
“The aftershocks have not receded and we expect the final casualty numbers to climb much higher,” the minister said, as he appealed for hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign donations to help rebuild the country.
The 7.8-magnitude quake wreaked a trail of death and destruction, reducing much of the capital Kathmandu to rubble and triggering a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.