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International effort: US, Nepalese teams rescue 11-year-old girl, 15-year-old boy who miraculously survived for days under the rubble.

Rescuers in Nepal have rescued two children trapped under rubble for five days, as the country continues to struggle to deal with the desperate aftermath of Saturday’s devastating earthquake.

More than 5,500 people are known to have died in the 7.8 magnitude quake and its aftershocks, with the death toll expected to keep rising as more bodies are dug out from under the ruins of countless buildings leveled by the disaster.

But on Thursday at least exhausted relief workers revealed hope amid the tragedy, after an 11-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy were discovered alive against the odds.

The first incident occurred just before midnight Tuesday, when a young girl was rescued by Nepalese soldiers in Bhaktapur Dattatreya Square, located in the Kathmandu Valley.

Photos circulating online of the moments following the rescue show the visibly relieved girl in the arms of a soldier – covered in dust and exhausted, but looking otherwise remarkably healthy after spending days under the rubble.

The second rescue occurred in the capital city of Kathmandu itself, and underlined the international character of the relief operation. American and Nepalese rescue workers worked for hours to free the trapped boy, who later identified himself as 15-year-old Pemba Lama, and transferred him to an Israeli field hospital for treatment.

According to BBC journalist Yogita Limaye, Lama told rescuers he had survived by drinking water dripping off of wet clothes, and eating two bottles of clarified butter, or “ghee”, which were within reach.

She said he too was in surprisingly good health considering his ordeal, emerging fully conscious and conversing with doctors after some 120 hours trapped in the rubble.

A US Agency for International Development official told the Associated Press the boy had been trapped between two collapsed floors of the building he was in when the quake struck, but that fortunately for him the collapsed floors were not “too far down”.

Miracle: The two children survived despite being trapped for days

Meanwhile, desperate scenes are continuing to play out throughout the country, as many Nepalese accuse their government of failing them during the crisis.

With many tens of thousands injured, homeless, or both, some areas have still not received any food or medical aid since the earthquake struck.

Yesterday Israel advised all its citizens not involved in rescue efforts to leave the country, after angry locals clashed with riot police and seized some aid they said was not being distributed fairly.

According to the UN, some eight million people have been effected by the disaster, including at least 11,000 injured and 70,000 homes completely destroyed.

The UN is appealing to international donors for $415 million it says is necessary to provide vital emergency relief over the next three months alone.

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