Nepal shuts airport to big jets

Runway damage forced Nepalese authorities to close its main airport on Sunday to large aircraft delivering aid to the quake hit, but UN officials said the overall logistics situation was improving. The death toll climbed to 7057, including 6 foreigners and 45 Nepalese, found over the weekend on a popular trekking quote, said government administrator Gautam Rimal. The victims included a French national, an Indian, four other foreigners and Nepalese guides, hotel owners, workers and porters. The main runway got damaged since it was built to handle only medium-size jetliners and not the large military and cargo planes that hve been flying in aid supplies, said Birendra Shrestha, the manager of Tribhuvan International Airport, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Despite the setback, UN coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick said the bottlenecks in aid delivery were slowly disappearing. “I think the problem is there, but it’s actually diminishing,” he said, adding that the government eased customs and other bureaucratic hurdles on humanitarian aid following heir complaints. UN officials said that they were worried about the spread of disease and voiced for more helicopters, which are needed to reach isolated mountain villages.

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