By Anna K. Poole
Nepal’s topography, the Shangri-La of mountaineers, lies mangled and crumbled after two powerful earthquakes thrashed the Himalayan nation on April 25 and May 12, demolishing 700,000 homes and killing more than 8,700 people. Hundreds more are injured or missing.
A recent Reuter’s report puts the price tag for economic reconstruction at almost $7 billion. Pre-quake Nepal was already reliant on foreign aid, agriculture, and tourism, all jeopardized in the quakes. On Thursday, Nepal’s government announced it would hire international experts to study trekking routes to see whether they’re safe enough for hikers to return.
While climbers wait for mountain passes to reopen, villagers living in communities that cling to the rocky hillsides are still struggling to survive. Relief supplies have poured into Kathmandu, the nation’s capital, but the remote villages haven’t received as much help.