IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Unclaimed Bodies Cremated as Quake Toll Continues to Rise

Soldiers removed unclaimed bodies from a Kathmandu hospital for cremation as the death toll in the Nepal earthquake closed in on 4,000 dead.
/ Source: NBC News

As the death count in Nepal’s massive earthquake hovered around 4,000 Monday, soldiers outside a Kathmandu hospital lifted orange tarps that cradled the bodies of some of those killed.

Other soldiers stood in the bed of the truck outside the makeshift morgue at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, taking each body and making space for the next one.

From there, some 40 dead — unclaimed by relatives or friends — were taken away for cremation, according to officials and volunteers.

It is a scene being played out regularly at the hospital’s makeshift morgue.

Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake devastated much of Kathmandu and caused an avalanche on Mount Everest.

Amid continuing aftershocks, rescue crews throughout the remote mountain nation are still working to reach survivors, who are suffering dwindling supplies of water and food and power outages, according to UNESCO.

The agency reports that nearly 1 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance in the region.

Video taken from a drone Saturday April 25 2015 shows devastation in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, caused by Saturday's quake that measured 7.8 on the Richter Scale. Nepal's earthquake-hit capital was short on everything Monday April 27 2015, as its people searched for lost loved ones, sorted through rubble for their belongings and struggled to provide for their families' needs. In much of the countryside, it was worse, though how much worse was only beginning to become apparent. The official death toll soared past 4-thousand, even without a full accounting from vulnerable mountain villages that rescue workers were still struggling to reach two days after the disaster. (AP Photo / KISHNOR RANA)KISHNOR RANA / AP

As a crowd of about 100 people looked on, officials at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital brought small groups of people in to identify the dead,

Survivors have filled the hospital to capacity, its beds filled, and its wards divided into colors denoting the severity of the case: red is worst, then yellow, then green.

"Most of the people coming right now were evacuated after a long time in their houses. Most of them have broken limbs," Sabin Thapaliya, a medical resident told NBC News.

Thapaliya, speaking outside the hospital building after making the rounds of a red ward, said most of the patients brought in Monday came from areas outside of Kathmandu.

The hospital’s courtyard was filled with people who have been treated and moved out to make room for more urgent cases -- turning the lot's green spaces into a camp ground for people displaced by the earthquake, and for patients who have been treated but whose recoveries continues.

Govinda Kwar, a 58 year-old farmer from a rural district outside Kathmandu, was spending his third night outdoors, sleeping along with his family of nine on park benches outside the hospital's buildings.

Govinda Kwar said his farmhouse in the village of Kodari collapsed Saturday, killing his infant granddaughter and injuring the child’s mother Sunita. He estimated 25 people in the village near the Tibet border had been killed in the quake.

Sunita Gwar, who lay on a gurney outside the hospital, suffered several broken ribs and a broken right arm in the house collapse.

Govinda Kwar said the family had not named the child yet. He said that he had addressed the child only as "Nanu," a diminutive used among family and intimates.