Aid begins arriving in Nepal’s villages

epa04724430 Nepalese army take part in a rescue operation at a collapsed building at Shaku, Nepal 28 April 2015. The death toll from this weekend's earthquake in Nepal is now at 4,138, reports the country's Interior Ministry.  EPA/ABIR ABDULLAH

The first supplies of food aid has reached remote, earthquake-shattered mountain villages in Nepal, while thousands clamoured to board buses out of Kathmandu.

Frustration over the slow delivery of humanitarian aid boiled over in a protest in the city on Wednesday, with about 200 people facing off with police and blocking traffic.

The protest was comparatively small and no demonstrators were detained. But it reflected growing anger over bottlenecks that delayed much-needed relief four days after the powerful earthquake.

Police, meanwhile, arrested dozens of people on suspicion of looting or causing panic by spreading rumours of another big quake.

Helicopters finally brought food, temporary shelter and other aid to hamlets north of Kathmandu in the mountainous Gorkha District near the epicentre of Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake.

Entire clusters of homes there were reduced to piles of stone and splintered wood. Women greeted the delivery with repeated cries of “We are hungry!”

While the death toll in the village of Gumda was low – only five people were killed and 20 were injured among 1300 residents – most had lost their homes and desperately needed temporary shelter.

The UN World Food Program warned that it will take time for food and other supplies to reach more remote communities that have been cut off by landslides.

The UN and aid groups asked donor countries on Wednesday to provide $US415 million ($A518.01 million) in emergency aid for the quake survivors.

The money will be used to support Nepalese authorities in providing shelter, food, water and medical care over the next three months, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in Geneva.

Police said the official death toll in Nepal had reached 5266 and more than 10,000 people have been injured as of late Wednesday. The death toll did not include the 19 people killed at Mount Everest – five foreign climbers, including an Australian, and 14 Nepalese Sherpa guides – when the quake unleashed an avalanche at base camp.

In Kathmandu, where most buildings were spared complete collapse, many residents – fearing aftershocks – continued to camp in parks and other open spaces.

But people were starting to leave tent cities like those in Kathmandu’s Tudikhel area. Anop Bhattachan and more than two dozen relatives have been sleeping on the field since Saturday, but he said they now want to get out of the city.

Thousands waited at bus stations in Kathmandu, hoping to reach their hometowns in rural areas. Some wanted to check on the fate of family and loved ones in the quake, while others were fearful of more aftershocks in the city.

Despite Wednesday’s small protest, there were signs that life was inching back to normal in the capital. Banks opened for a few hours and refilled their ATMs with cash, some shops reopened and vendors returned to the streets.

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