Capturing the aftermath of Nepal's deadly earthquake

  • Nepali kids look out of their tent’s window, May 1, 2015.
  • People empty remove merchandise from their fabric stores in Swoyanbhu, May 1, 2015, because of building damage.
  • The damaged walls of a local bar in Swoyambhu, a wealthy neighborhood in Kathmandu. 
  • Lots of locals and migrants are leave Kathmandu after another tremor, May 1, 2015.
  • A Buddhist woman sits in her tent in Swoyambhu, May 1, 2015.
  • A stretcher with flowers is seen after the body it was carrying was taken to be cremated.
  • Smoke from a cremation is seen on May 1, 2015.
  • Raj Kumar Sreath is a taxi driver in Kathmandu from Sindhupalchok province. His house in Sindhupalchok it was totally destroyed by earthquake, and his grandmother was killed. His family is now living under the open sky. 
  • Cracks in the walls of Manag Buddhist Temple, Swoyambhu, May 1, 2015.
  • View of what remains of Manag Buddhist Temple, Swoyambhu, May 1, 2015.
  •  A shirt lies in the rubble in the wealthy neighborhood of Swoyambhu in Kathmandu, May 1, 2015.
  • A bunch of men sitting at the Pasupati cremation center waiting to their relatives’ bodies to be cremated, May 1, 2015.
  • Narayan Baraili, seen here in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015 lost his father in the earthquake.
  • Children play in Basantapur, Kathmandu, April 30, 2015.
  • Tamar moves back into her house after 5 days since the earthquake, April 30, 2015.
  • Spiritual singers sing songs at the Pasupati Cremation center, April 30, 2015.
  • Raj Kumar Khatri, 9, lost his mother in the earthquake in Bhaktapur. Her body was found yesterday. She was working in a poultry firm while the earthquake happened. Her family gathers for her cremation in Pasupati Cremation center, April 30, 2015.
  • Lads in Basantapur, Kathmandu, April 30, 2015.
  • Restaurants are open on 5th day since the earthquake happened in Kathmandu.
  • Street scene in Kathmandu on April 30, 2015.
  • Kids play in the national stadium where many people have taken up shelter since the earthquake.
  • A woman injured in the earthquake lies in Kirtipur Hospital in Kiritipur, on the outskirs of Kathmandu.
  • A man who lost his house carries his goat to the tent he is staying in in Kathmandu, April 30, 2015.
  • Young Raj Kumar Khatri carrird the body of his mother body before cremation.
  • A girl in a local mini bus in Kathmandu, April 30, 2015.
  • Raj Kumar Khatri (center), 9, lost his mother in the earthquake in Bhaktapur. His mother, Kamala Khatri, was found yesterday. She was working in a poultry farm while the earthquake happened. Her family gathered to cremate her body in the Pasupati Cremation center.
  • Newsstands are open again after closing for five days after the earthquake. Everyone is reading about the earthquake.
  • A body lies on the ground before it is cremated in Kathmandu, April 30, 2015.
  • Young Raj Kumar Khatri shows his last respects to her mother’s dead body, April 30, 2015.
  • A Nepali woman in Kathmandu walks while covering her face because people are afraid of outbreaks of disease from dead bodies.
  • City people collect water from a water truck in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015. There is still no electricity or water in the Darbar Square area of the city.
  • Men wear masks to protect themselves from potential disease that many fear will result from dead bodies in the area.
  • Shangita sits on top of a broken temple in Darbar Square, April 29, 2015. She owned a shop near the temple which is now under the rubble.
  • Locals in Kathmandu make their way back home on April 29, 2015, after staying in makeshift tents in the immediate aftermath of the April 25 earthquake. 
  • A gym is used as makeshift shelter in Bhaktapur, Nepal, April 29, 2015.
  • A member of the Nepali army walks in front of Kal Bairam Temple in Darbar Square in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015.
  • A victim of the earthquake is taken to an operating room at Bir Hospital in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015.
  • A car sits under rubble in Shaka, Nepal.
  • A man stands on top of the broken Dharahara tower in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015.
  • Broken parts of Ram Narayan Temple are carried by volunteers to a safe place in Kathmandu, April 29, 2015.
  • A body is prepared for cremation at the Pashupati Nath Cremation center near the Shree Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, April 28, 2015.
  • Hangers and a photo lie in the rubble of a collapsed building in Shaku, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, April 28, 2015. 
  • A family gathers at a cremation center in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 28, 2015.
  • An injured 11-year-old girl is seen in Shaku, April 28, 2015.
  • A family makes a temporary shelter on a golf course in Kathmandu, April 28, 2015.
  • A collapsed temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015.
  • Two men stand in front of the partially damaged Kal Bairam temple in the Darbar Square area in Kathmandu, April 27, 2015.
  • The wife of a taxi driver sits in her husband’s taxi in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015. Afraid that their house is unsafe, the driver keeps his wife close by as they drive around the city together.
  • Rescue workers search for a dead body in Shaku, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, April 28, 2015.
  • A local field in the city center is used by locals for safe overnight sleeping after they lost their homes in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015 following the devastating earthquake that hit the country on April 25. 
  • A rescue chief observes the operation in Bhaktapur, Nepal on April 27, 2015, following the massive earthquake that struck on April 25.
  • Relatives carry a body to be cremated in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015.
  • A water truck comes to supply water in a makeshift camp near the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, April 27, 2015.
  • Thousands of migrant workers from India in Nepal wait at the Kathmandu airport to catch the flight to India, April 26, 2015.
  • A man watches the scene where bodies are being cremated in Kathmandu, April 27, 2015.
  • Cremations for victims of the April 25 earthquake take place in Kathmandu, April 27, 2015.
  • A rescue plane flies over a field where the people have set up tents in a makeshift camp near Kathmandu, April 27, 2015.
  • Children play in front of a temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal, April 27, 2015.
  • An old woman by her tent in a makeshift camp near the airport in Kathmandu, April 27, 2015.

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Updated

The death toll from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal surpassed 5,000 on Tuesday, as the government pushed back against criticism over a slow response.

Rescuers were still digging bodies out of the rubble in the capital Kathmandu, where centuries-old buildings were flattened by Saturday’s quake and many people were sleeping outside for fear of further aftershocks.

Nepal’s National Emergency Operation Center said the death toll had reached 5,057 and that nearly 11,000 people were injured in the quake. Officials have said it was impossible to tell how many bodies remained buried — meaning the death toll could continue to rise.

Amid criticism from some locals — many of whom have been using their bare hands to dig through rubble —Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said the government was doing everything in its capacity.

“The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing,” Koirala told Reuters. “It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal.”

In the historic old city center of the capital, a crowd erupted in cheers on Tuesday as a dirt-covered man was pulled from the rubble and whisked away into an ambulance.

A Chinese rescue team also managed to pull a 21-year-old man out from the rubble after he had been trapped for 62 hours. Medics said his vital signs were good.

Ross Prince, a 62-year-old Canadian tourist, was at the scene digging with his hands. Prince was on vacation when the quake struck — but said his focus immediately shifted to helping out with relief efforts.

“All you can do is…turn around and help the others,” he told NBC News. “It’s awful. We have to do something…It just tears you apart.”

The earthquake, which also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest that killed at least 18 people, was the deadliest to hit Nepal since a 1934 temblor took the lives of more than 10,000 people.

Around 450,000 people have been internally displaced by the disaster, according to the National Emergency Operation Center.

Since the disaster the air in Nepal has been filled with smoke from funeral pyres and wails fromfamilies mourning the ever-mounting dead.

Some 8 million people have been affected by the disaster — with 1.4 million in urgent need of food supplies, according to the United Nations.

Reporting from NBC News’ Michael Almaguer.

Photographs by Ismail Ferdous.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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