Nine people, including seven Americans, were rescued from Nepal’s remote Gorkha District on Friday, the U.S. Embassy in Nepal tweeted. The mountainous region northwest of the country’s capital Kathmandu suffered the brunt of Saturday’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which led to thousands of deaths in the region, affected millions of Nepali and stranded hundreds of American citizens in the country.
The epicenter of Nepal’s earthquake was the Gorkha District, home to some 270,000 people who live in tiny villages dotting the steep hillsides. Many of the remote villages, accessed only by steep, winding roads and sometimes only navigable by foot, were ravaged by the massive quake that hit Nepal six days ago. Brick walls and tin roofs quickly collapsed under the shaking; entire villages were reduced to piles of rubble.
While the death toll in Gorkha has remained low – many residents were outside working when the earthquake struck, which meant they largely avoided falling debris – the area has been desperate for supplies. International aid groups have had a difficult time reaching villages in the isolated region. The only nearby airport in Kathmandu has been clogged with evacuation planes and travelers trying to leave Nepal. Planes carrying aid and supplies have been turned away because the airport simply can’t accommodate them.
"All the houses are destroyed we have no food and we have used all our rations," one man told the ABC. "We have no food, no clothes and no shelter and the children have lost their school.” Additionally, one of the biggest threats facing Nepal’s mountain villages is landslides.
The death toll from the Nepal earthquake reached 6,204 people Friday, according to officials. At least 13,900 people were injured in the quake, the deadliest natural disaster in Nepal in more than 80 years.