KATHMANDU: Grieving families on Sunday cremated hundreds of victims of Nepal’s earthquake near the famed Pashupatinath temple here, confusion and overcrowding marking the final rites.
Relatives jostled for space in the vast area to cremate the dead. Lack of adequate space forced hundreds to perform the last rites outside the designated spots.
More than 2,300 people have been officially declared dead in Saturday’s devastating quake that measured 7.9 on the Richter scale. The government has warned that the toll may rise.
With most deaths reported so far in and around the Kathmandu Valley, there was heavy pressure on the Hindu cremation ground near the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The funeral of more than 100 people took place on Sunday within a short time. “People are conducting the last rites wherever they can and without following the proper rituals,” a witness told IANS.
Hundreds waited in serpentine queue to cremate their near and dear ones.
Hindus form 80 percent of Nepal’s 29 million people. Buddhists account for another 10 percent.