Thousands of desperate Nepalese took shelter under tents and sought help on Monday, two days after a massive quake killed more than 3,200 people, as overwhelmed authorities struggled to provide for the wounded and homeless. According to news agency Reuters, the death toll from the earthquake rose to 3,218. The toll is likely to climb as rescuers struggle to reach remote regions in the impoverished, mountainous country of 28 million people and as bodies buried under rubble are recovered. It has been over 40 hours since an earthquake measuring 7.6 on Richter scale ravaged Kathmandu and several other parts of Nepal, but the aftershocks are still continuing. In the past two days, there have been 83 aftershocks measuring over 4 on Richter scale with one on Sunday afternoon recording as high as 6.9. There have been over 200 minor tremors. "The intensity and frequency of the shocks are likely to gradually come down, but it could take another 24-36 hours or more for that," said Lok Bijay Adhikari, chief of National Seismological Centre. The aftershocks and rumours about another big quake forced residents in Kathmandu and other parts of Nepal spent the second consec
utive night in open spaces and under tents. "There is no way to predict the time, place or intensity of any quake. Therefore people should not believe such rumors," said Adhikari. While the tremors are slowly becoming less intense, affected res
idents were more troubled by the rains that lashed the capital and several other towns on Sunday night forcing those living in the open to seek cover. According to the meteorology department, 4 mm of rainfall was recorded in Kathmandu. More show
ers are expected in late afternoons and evenings. "The weather will remain cloudy with possibility of brief rain and thundershowers in some places of eastern Nepal and central hilly region," said an official of the department of hydrology and meteorology. There are fears that rains could lead to avalanches and landslides and could hamper search, rescue and relief work. Many people are still feared to be buried under rubble in Kathmandu and elsewhere. Across Kathmandu and beyond, exhausted families whose homes were either flattened or at risk of collapse laid mattresses out on streets and erected tents to shelter from the rain. The sick and wounded lay out in the open in the capital, unable to find beds in the devastated city's hospitals. Surgeons set up an operating theatre inside a tent on the grounds of Kathmandu Medical College. "We are overwhelmed with rescue and assistance requests from all across the country," Deepak Panda, a member of the country's disaster management, told Reuters. At the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, bodies, including that of a boy aged about seven, were heaped in a dark room. The stench of death was overpowering.