Smell of decaying flesh engulfs Sangachowk

Himalayan tragedy: Animal carcasses lie in many houses, scant attention on its disposal

Smell of decaying flesh engulfs Sangachowk

As the evening breeze wafts from the valley, it brings a distinct smell of decaying flesh at Sangachowk.

Located around 75 km from Kathmandu in the hills, Sangachowk is in Sindhupalchok district that bore the brunt of the killer tremor 10 days ago. Almost every day, 300-400 bodies are being recovered from distant areas of the district, where the death toll crossed the 2,800 mark on Sunday.

“Sangachowk village development committee has 36 villages with 11,000 populations under its jurisdiction. So far we have found 152 dead bodies, but there could be others. Also there are animal carcasses in many houses, which could not be taken out. They are rotting now,” Dilip Gire, a local trader and VDC member told Deccan Herald.

Fearing contamination, two days ago Kathmandu district administration appealed to the public to not consume meat-related items. The administration came out with the public appeal because scant attention has been paid so far on the disposal of animal bodies. In areas where the villagers were able to retrieve the carcasses, they buried them in the ground as woods are not available.

Rotting animal bodies, however, are not the only concern for Sindhupalchok residents. Their houses and shops gone, they now risk their lives to remove the rubble and salvage whatever they could.

“No government help has come so far in removing the debris. We are doing on our own with great risk,” said Amrit Shresth, owner of a beauty parlour in Chautara where hardly any shop or house is standing.

It is unbelievable too see how the buildings made of iron and concrete were destroyed by the killer force in this area. For instance, the ground and first floor of the Sri Jan Jagriti Higher Secondary School sank into the ground, reducing the building’s height and tilting it at a precarious angle. The headmaster is waiting for the relief on the roadside.

Multiple deaths in single houses are common in these death zones. Seven persons including a pair of mother-daughter were killed in one house in Sangachowk. In the adjoining Chautara town oil mill owner Sukamaya and six of her clients were killed as the house came down crushing them to death.

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