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Kathmandu Residents Hope to See Dharahara Tower Rebuilt

  • Reuters

FILE - Locals take snapshots with their cell phones at the historic Dharahara Tower, a city landmark, that was damaged in Saturday’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015.

FILE - Locals take snapshots with their cell phones at the historic Dharahara Tower, a city landmark, that was damaged in Saturday’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015.

Two weeks after a massive earthquake struck Nepal, causing buildings to collapse and killing thousands of people, Kathmandu's residents on Saturday (May 9) hoped to see their iconic structures rebuilt.

Among the capital's landmarks destroyed in the earthquake was the 60-meter Dharahara Tower, built in 1832 for the queen of Nepal. Scores of people were killed when it crumpled.

One resident, Shiva Hari Pudasain, hoped the tower would be rebuilt with better materials to protect against future earthquakes.

"This is our country's icon and I feel very sad now, because of this disaster. I wish this tower is re-build again using such good materials [that it doesn't fall again]," Pudasain said.

The Dharahara Tower was a landmark that had been open to visitors for the last 10 years and had a viewing balcony. A jagged stump just 10 meters high was all that was left of the light-house-like structure.

Located in a densely populated area, the tower was damaged in an earlier earthquake in 1934 and later rebuilt.

Nepal's prime minister pledged on Friday (May 8) to repair public buildings, schools and infrastructure within two years of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country last month. He also said the government would provide loans of up to $25,000 at an interest rate of 2 percent for the reconstruction of private homes.

At least 7,903 people were killed, nearly 18,000 injured, and more than 541,000 buildings damaged.

The government said the cost of the first phase of reconstruction would be $2 billion and it had set aside $200 million towards that. For the balance, the government has appealed for donations from foreign countries, aid agencies and Nepali people themselves.

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