Blank NEWS Online can report that following a high magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal on Saturday, the Ministry of Interior’s search and rescue team has departed for Nepal to help with the international relief operation after the earthquake which caused hundreds of casualties.
The team leaves today, Sunday April 26, 2015 with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and the orders of General HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Lt. Colonel Mohammed Abdul Jalil Al Ansari, Head of the UAE Search and Rescue Team, Director General of Civil Defense in Abu Dhabi pointed that Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior gave orders to mobilize right away and fulfill the orders of the higher leadership to relief the people of Nepal, with an Emirati team of 88 professionals, including officers and rescuers, with equipment and tools necessary for the search and rescue operations.
The team will be accompanied by the UN assessment and coordination team to participate in the search and rescue operations and provide the international help needed to face the devastating effects of the earthquake.
He added that the team carries out the international coordination and its relief duties with swift actions to help the friendly nations and carry out its humanitarian duties and field work. This exemplifies the keenness of the UAE to help the people affected with natural disasters all around the world, and help the brotherly and friendly nations.
Al Ansari said that the team will use advanced equipment during the search and rescue operations to help and identify the victims, as well as other tasks.
It is worth mentioning that the UAE’s search and rescue team participated in similar missions to help the victims of an earthquake in Pakistan and Indonesia in 2006 and 2007 and in Afghanistan in 2008 and other places. The team also carried out a drill in a virtual building for training to handle the buildings affected by earthquakes, as a part of its preparations before being categorized by the United Nations’ International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) as a heavy weight team, and the coordination with the neighboring countries about the best ways to respond to disasters.
Recall that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, killing over a thousand people and triggering a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest.
The earthquake, the worst to hit the country in 80 years, caused massive destruction in the Himalayan nation, including destroying a 19th-century tower in the capital Kathmandu.
Nepali police report that 1,130 people were killed, according to Reuters. The death toll is likely to rise.
The tremors rocked neighboring countries, killing 34 in northern India, six in Tibet and two in Bangladesh, as well as two Chinese people on the Nepal-China border, according to the Associated Press.
The earthquake’s epicenter was 50 miles east of Nepal’s second largest city, Pokhara. It caused an avalanche on Mount Everest that left eight people dead, Reuters reported. A climber at Everest base camp, Alex Gavan, wrote on Twitter:
“Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain.”
Nepali authorities struggled to assess the full scale of the damage, but many feared the worst.
“Almost the entire country has been hit,” the deputy chief of mission at Nepal’s Embassy in New Delhi Krishna Prasad Dhakal said. Officials warned the death toll is likely to rise.
“We are totally cut off from most parts of our country,” Nepal Disaster Management Authority official Ram Narayan Pandey told Reuters.
In Kathmandu, The Guardian reported that thousands of people rushed onto the streets after the quake in an effort to try to remain safe, and many were too afraid to return after a series of powerful aftershocks.
Among the buildings that collapsed was the Dharahara Tower, a UNESCO-recognized landmark built in 1832 and a popular visitor site. Around 200 people were trapped when the tower collapsed, police said.
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