Kathmandu Nepal earthquake
Members of a rescue team search for victims during a joint operation between Swiss and French rescue teams, following the earthquake in KathmanduReuters

Hopes to find further survivors in the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April is fading as the official death toll passed 6,000, while 3,000 people are still unaccounted for.

The south Asian nation celebrated a rare moment of joy when two people were pulled out alive from the rubble of building in the capital Kathmandu but thousands of villages near the epicentre of the quake are feared to have been completely flattened.

Officials say the death toll reached 6,134, with 13,906 injured, but the extent of the devastation will not be known until the end of the ongoing search and rescue operations.

"It could climb to 10,000 or more," Mercy Corps Nepal country director Sanjay Karki told IBTimes UK, quoting figures suggested by Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on 28 April.

Nepal's government pledged Rs100,000 (£653) to families of each of those killed in the 7.9 magnitude earthquake and another Rs40,000 for funeral costs.

While the focus had initially been on rescue operations, a small number of burials have started to take place, mainly cremations.

As hope subsided, the focus effectively turned to distributing essential items, including bags of blankets, shelter kits, utensils, water purification tablets and clothes to survivors.

The government of Nepal, for instance, has requested NGO Mercy Corps distribute 5,000 bags of household supplies, 2,000 shelter kits and 5,000 tarps as soon as possible.

"We'll be focusing on distributing these items in the most affected areas based on assessments made together with the Ministry of Home Affairs of Nepalese. We're also strengthening teams 18 miles west outside of Kathmandu in the district of Gorkha, where the epicentre was, as well as villages in the east of the city, where villages suffered from ensuing landslides," Karki said.

In the badly hit Sindhupalchowk district, where the northern areas of Gorkha district is situated, 3,000 people are still unaccounted for. Local officials and aid agencies fear widespread destruction.

The capital Kathmandu, instead, is slowly returning to normality with many people who were sleeping outside for fear of aftershocks moving back indoors.

On 30 April, a 24-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy were rescued from wreckage in buildings in Kathmandu.

The woman, named Krishna Kumari Khadka, was rescued after her family insisted with rescue teams that there were signs of life under the wreckage of her house. Dozens of people gathered to see the rescue operation, which lasted 10 hours and was carried out by joint team members from Norway, France and Israel.

The boy, a tour-guide operator, told the BBC he managed to survive in an air pocket by drinking water from wet clothes and eating pots of clarified butter.