Aid still scarce in Nepal's remote villages as anger grows

Raw: Drone Flyover Reveals Nepal Damage

MAJUWA, Nepal (AP) -- With help still not reaching some isolated villages a week after Nepal's devastating earthquake, a top international aid official said Saturday that more helicopters were needed to get assistance to the farthest reaches of this Himalayan nation.

Many mountain roads, often treacherous at the best of times, remain blocked by landslides, making it extremely difficult for supply trucks to get to the higher Himalayan foothills.

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4/28 Nepal earthquake relief & recovery (updated 5/1)
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Aid still scarce in Nepal's remote villages as anger grows
Nepalese women and children receive food distributed by a non-government organization in the center of Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese children play outside their tent shelter in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese villager woman looks out from amongst makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 30: Nepalese victims of the eartquake buy vegetables in a street market in Bhaktapur on April 30, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 5500 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 30: Sanjhana Tamang takes care of her daughter Simran Tamang, 3, as she lays in bed at a temporary hospital suffering from Typhoid fever after the earthquake in Shanku on April 30, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 5500 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - 2015/04/30: Nepali soldiers and civilians try to pull down a dangerous section of severely damaged wall that is in danger of collapsing in Bhaktapur, Nepal on April 30, 2015. On April 25, 2015, Nepal suffered a magnitude 7.8 earthquake killing over 5,000 people and injuring thousands more. (Photo by Taylor Weidman/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Nepalese family sit outside makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese mother sits with her child outside makeshift tents at Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
A Nepalese injured mother and daughter sit inside an Indian Army helicopter after they were rescued from Laprak village, in northern-central Gorkha district on April 30, 2015. The UN launched an appeal for Nepalese quake survivors in dire need of shelter, food and medical care April 30 as anger boiled at the government's inability to cope with a disaster that has killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese youth, Pemba Tamang,15, is treated by Israeli Army medic soldiers at the Israeli field hospital following his rescue earlier in the day in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015. Rescuers pulled a 15-year-old boy alive from the rubble of Nepal's earthquake April 30, bringing a rare moment of joy to the ruined capital Kathmandu, five days after a disaster which killed more than 5,500 people. AFP PHOTO / MENAHEM KAHANA (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese Army Police memebers search for victims among debris of a house on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A Nepalese victim of the earthquake searchs for her belongings among debris of her house on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Nepal Army personnel drop relief materials at Larpak village in Gorkha, north-central Nepal on April 29, 2015, following a devastating earthquake on April 25. Desperate Nepalis clashed with riot police and seized supplies of bottled water in the capital April 29 as anger boiled over among survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people. AFP PHOTO/PRAKASH SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A young girl waits on board a bus to be evacuated from the city center on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: A member of the army stands watch over a destroyed temple in Bashantapur on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
KATHMANDU, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Thousands of people queue on the street outside a government building as they wait for free bus rides out of the city center on on April 29, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Nepalese residents wait to board buses to leave Kathmandu at a main bus stand in Kathmandu on April 29, 2015, to leave the Nepalese capital following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25. Nepalese riot police battled to contain anger among survivors of an earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people as rescuers raced against time to find anyone else alive in the rubble of the capital Kathmandu. Supplies are running thin and aftershocks have strained nerves in the ruined city. Desperate to leave, thousands of people began gathering from before dawn outside the main bus station after the government promised to lay on special services. AFP PHOTO / MANAN VATSYAYANA (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)
BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL - APRIL 29: Nepalese victims of the earthquake search for their belongings among debris of their homes on April 29, 2015 in Bhaktapur, Nepal. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving over 4600 dead and many more trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Rescuers from Japan are seen in the historical centre of Kathmandu on April 29, 2015, following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck the Himalayan nation on April 25. Rescuers are facing a race against time to find survivors of a mammoth earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people when it through Nepal five days ago and devastated large parts of one of Asia's poorest nations. AFP PHOTO/Philippe LOPEZ (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
This photo taken early on April 29, 2015 shows a survivor (C) being carried out of a damaged building by a French rescue team after being trapped for 82 hours in earthquake-hit Kathmandu. The death toll from the April 25 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 28 was more than 5,000, with another 8,000 people injured, while the United Nations estimated that eight million people had been affected. CHINA OUT AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
TIBET, CHINA - APRIL 28: (CHINA OUT) (EDITORS NOTE: Image is highest resolution available.) Border soldiers press forward Zhangmu Town which lose contact with outside world for 70 hours after 8.1-magnitude earthquake hitting Nepal and spreading to Tibet on April 28, 2015 in Tibet Autonomous Region, China. A major 7.8 earthquake hit Kathmandu mid-day on Saturday, and was followed by multiple aftershocks that triggered avalanches on Mt. Everest that buried mountain climbers in their base camps. Many houses, buildings and temples in the capital were destroyed during the earthquake, leaving thousands dead or trapped under the debris as emergency rescue workers attempt to clear debris and find survivors. Regular aftershocks have hampered recovery missions as locals, officials and aid workers attempt to recover bodies from the rubble. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
Damaged houses are seen from an Indian Army helicopter following an earthquake in the Nepalese area of Gorkha on April 28, 2015. Hungry and desperate Nepalese villagers rushed towards a relief helicopter begging to be airlifted to safety April 28, 2015, after a huge earthquake that has killed at least 4,349 people devastated their remote community. Terrified residents of Lapu in Gorkha, some of the eight million people the UN said were affected by the April 25, 2015 quake, ran with outstretched arms to the Indian army chopper, pleading for much-needed food and water. AFP PHOTO / Sajjad Hussain (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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"We definitely need more helicopters," Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the U.N.'s World Food Program, told The Associated Press in the village of Majuwa, in the quake-devastated Gorkha district. Aid agencies have been using Majuwa as a staging area to get supplies deeper into mountainous areas. "Even seven days in this is still very much considered the early days, because there are people we still haven't reached. So we need helicopters to reach them."

"This is one of the poorest places on Earth. If the global community walks away, the people of this country will not receive the assistance that is required for them to rebuild their lives," she said.

Cousin said shelter was a more urgent priority at this point than food.

More than 130,000 houses were destroyed in the quake, according to the U.N. humanitarian office. Near the epicenter, north of Kathmandu, whole villages were in ruins, and residents were in desperate need of temporary shelters against the rain and cold.

The magnitude-7.8 earthquake killed more than 6,600 people, with the death toll continuing to rise as reports filter in from isolated areas. The U.N. has estimated the quake affected 8.1 million people - more than a fourth of Nepal's population of 27.8 million.

Other teams conducting search and rescue operations also said their work was hampered by a lack of helicopters.

David O'Neill of United Kingdom Fire and Rescue said a team from his group drove and then walked for several hours to reach remote villages that had reported 80 percent fatalities.

Most of the residents of Golche and Pangtang villages died in a major aftershock a day after the quake, O'Neill said in Chautara, a village in Sindhupalchok district.

He said the team had hoped to reach the areas by helicopter from Chautara, but none were available to charter and they could not get on choppers flown by Nepal's army, so they were returning to Kathmandu.

Nepal's government renewed its appeal to international donors to send tents, tarpaulins and basic food supplies, saying some of the items being sent are of little use. It also asked donors to send money if they cannot send things that are immediately necessary.

"We have received things like tuna fish and mayonnaise. What good are those things for us? We need grains, salt and sugar," Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat told reporters Friday.

Three senior officials were sent to remote villages after criticism that authorities had not reached some of the areas a full week since the earthquake.

"Our target now is for our officers to reach each of the villages that have been affected by the earthquake," Chief Secretary Lilamani Poudyal said.

There was enough food and grain, but the immediate need for tents and shelter remained, he said.

Information Minister Minendra Rijal said Nepal would need 400,000 tents and so far has been able to provide only 29,000 to those in need.

Life has been slowly returning to normal in Kathmandu, but to the east, angry villagers in parts of the Sindhupalchok district said Saturday they were still waiting for aid to reach them.

In the village of Pauwathok, three trucks apparently carrying aid supplies roared by without stopping.

"What about us?" screamed villagers, as the trucks sped on. Of the 85 homes in Pauwathok, all but a handful were destroyed.

"Nobody has come here to help us. No government, no police, no aid," Badri Giri, 71.

Anger and frustration at the slow pace of aid delivery have been growing among residents of remote Himalayan villages.

In the nearby village of Jalkeni, mounds of broken wood and stone line the road, the remains of homes flattened by the quake.

On top of one mound, surrounded by a pile of dusty rocks, a broken TV, shredded clothes and bags of whatever she had managed to save from the debris, Sunita Shrestha sat cradling a young girl. The mound used to be her two-story home.

"No one has come to help us yet," said Shrestha, as the sun beat down. "I don't know if they ever will."

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