Snow blankets Nepal villages at center of last year’s quake

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Villages near the epicenter of a massive earthquake last year in Nepal have been blanketed with snow, making life miserable for people still living in temporary shelters and huts, officials said Wednesday.

Government administrator Dipendra Poudel said that snow as deep as 60 centimeters (2 feet) had covered villages in northern Gorkha district, making it impossible for helicopters to reach these areas.

Poudel said many people were still living in tents in the areas, and that it will take days on foot to reach the villages because they do not have road access.

There are no reports of anyone dying or serious illness, he said.

The epicenter of the April 25, 2015, earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people was in Gorkha district 160 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of the capital, Kathmandu.

The government was able to send some emergency relief supplies, such as clothes, tents and food, to some villages by helicopters last week during a break in the bad weather.

Foreign donors have pledged $4.1 billion for earthquake reconstruction, but only a small amount of that has reached Nepal because it took months to set up the National Reconstruction Authority to deal with the task.

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