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Nepal earthquake: Rebuilding cost to exceed US$10b
[KATHMANDU] The cost to rebuild after Nepal's most devastating earthquake in eight decades will exceed US$10 billion, according to Finance Minister Ram S. Mahat.
The reconstruction figure would be equivalent to about half of Nepal's US$20 billion economy. An exact estimate is very difficult to calculate, and the government would appeal to the world for help, Mr Mahat said.
"The cost is incalculable," he said. "It will be billions and billions of dollars in reconstruction and restoration of infrastructure. It will take years."
The death toll has already exceeded 4,300 and could climb beyond 6,000, Mr Mahat said in an interview at his office in Kathmandu. The government is struggling to save people who may be trapped, he said.
"We have reason to believe that there are survivors in the rubble but we don't have equipment to deal with the situation," Mr Mahat said. "In Kathmandu Valley itself, big buildings have collapsed and they don't know how to get people out. There is lack of adequate equipment."