FULPING KATTI (SINDHUPALCHOWK), May 1 Sukuchhiri Sherpa and his wife Kali were crying on the banks of the Bhotekoshi River in Dukuna of Sindhupalchowk district this evening. Sukuchhiri, a daily-wage worker of a local micro hydro project, was trying to convince his better-half that they would soon meet their two sons — Thuden and Furden, the seventh and tenth graders — alive. A week has passed since the hapless couple made the last phone contact with their sons. The devastating earthquake, which reduced most of the villages to rubble, killing thousands of people has disconnected a large section of the district from road and communication network. “How is the situation in Banepa and Kathmandu?” Sukuchhiri, a resident of Athkilo, asked this correspondent to acquire information of the two cities where his sons were studying. There are thousands of such couples in the district who have lost contact with their relatives after the quake, according to Sub-Inspector Ramesh Basnet. The policeman who witnessed his fellow head constable Shumsher Nepali dying on duty at Dukuna police post said the fate of hundreds of residents in over a dozen villages in district was not known. Loke Tamang and his seven-member family have nothing to eat. “Even the water sources have crumbled and are producing muddy water,” a homeless man from Fulping Katti said. Rescue and relief were a far cry for locals, police constable Rajan Khatri, whose post today received a few packets of noodles and biscuits, said. “Five of us posted here have been surviving on wild fruits for the last four days,” he added. In Liping and Tatopani, more than 35 private cars are still buried under debris, police sub-inspector Bir Bahadur Gurung told THT. “No reports are available from Fulping Katti, Duguna and Dumithang villages, where more than 200 families reside but have been made inaccessible by the quake,” he told this daily. According to Kailash Poudel, there is not a single livable house in these villages. All children from a Dalit settlement have now taken ill, as they were forced to consume muddy water, he said. “Uncle, when will we get biscuits and noodles to eat,” an injured Sabin Tamang, 10, immediately asked Poudel. “Why have we been ignored,” Som Bahadur Tamang, who survived the disaster but lost four of his family in Liping, asked. Barabise to Tatopani section of Kodari highway has been blocked due to mudslides in the aftermath of earthquake. Roadsides reek of rotting bodies that are yet to be retrieved from the debris, Poudel said. He added their biggest fear was landslide and epidemic. Kanchhi Maya Tamang, 65, of Dukuna, said she survived the quake but wondered how long would she survive this.

Rescue ops to end KATHMANDU: Rescue operations in the wake of devastating quakes that struck Nepal on April 25 and 26 will end soon. The rescue teams from the United Kingdom, South Korea and Turkey left Nepal on Friday and the teams from other countries will follow suit soon.