29 Apr 2015

Desperate villagers mob helicopters in Nepal

5:54 pm on 29 April 2015

A New Zealand rescue pilot in Nepal says crews cannot land their helicopters for fear of being mobbed by villagers.

Nepalese villagers shelter from rain under foam and plastic sheets at they wait for aid

Nepalese villagers shelter from rain under foam and plastic sheets at they wait for aid. Photo: AFP

The United Nations estimates eight million people were affected by a massive 7.8 magnitude quake that hit the country on Saturday.

With supplies taking days to reach isolated parts of the country, anger and frustration is starting to be directed at the chopper crews bringing much-needed relief.

New Zealand helicopter rescue pilot Jason Laing said one villager had run into the rotor blades of a relief helicopter.

"Two days ago, from another helicopter company, they landed at a village and there were hundreds of people there...as [the pilot] was lifting off the ground someone ran into the tail rotor."

Mr Laing said that man died, and the pilot - a westerner - was now being held in prison.

He said more big helicopters were needed to carry supplies to those areas.

Nepalese villagers injured in the earthquake being evacuated from Lapu.

Nepalese villagers injured in the earthquake being evacuated from Lapu. Photo: AFP

Officials in Nepal said the death toll had now passed 5000 and could reach 10,000 once information comes in from far-flung villages and towns.

The National Emergency Operation Centre said another 10,000 people are injured and more than 450,000 are effectively homeless.

NZ commits another $1 million to Nepal

New Zealand will contribute up to another $1 million to assist Nepal by matching funds raised by aid agencies.

The Government announced a $1 million in relief soon after the catastrophic earthquake hit.

Foreign Minister, Murray McCully said the latest funding would be used to match funds raised by accredited New Zealand non-government organisations, with partners on the ground in Nepal.

Mr McCully said New Zealand's funding had already supported the deployment of an Emergency Response Unit by the New Zealand Red Cross.

He said the Government's also supported the Himalayan Trust, established by Sir Edmund Hillary, which would focus on rebuilding and repairing affected schools.

Damaged houses are seen from an Indian Army helicopter at Lapu in the Nepalese area of Gorkha.

Damaged houses are seen from an Indian Army helicopter at Lapu in the Nepalese area of Gorkha. Photo: AFP

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