C-130s' Dispatched for Quake-struck Nepal
ISLAMABAD: As Nepal asks foreign countries to wrap up search and rescue operations in the earthquake-hit country, Pakistan sent two C-130 aircraft – carrying relief goods – for the survivors on Tuesday.
On April 25, Nepal was hit by a 7.8-magnitude quake, its worst since 1934, and led to the deaths of more than 7,557 people.
According to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the consignment sent by Pakistan comprised 700 tents and 400kg medicines, Radio Pakistan reported.
Earlier, two C-130 aircraft had arrived in Kathmandu from Pakistan on May 2. According to an Inter-Services Public Relations statement, around 600 tents, 33 boxes of medicines and other items were sent for the quake victims initially.
Seven Nepalese doctors studying in Pakistan had also departed for Nepal the same day.
Earlier, the government said that more than 131,500 Nepalese military and police personnel were now taking part in the massive aid operation in the vast Himalayan nation, aided by more than 100 teams of foreign relief workers.
While the government has acknowledged being overwhelmed by the disaster and there have been complaints of delays to the relief effort, the home ministry indicated the situation was being brought under control.
“The situation in the country is gradually becoming normal because relief items have already reached crucial, hard hit areas,” home ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told AFP.
“Everybody is trying to return to their normal lives and all our government machinery is working to make sure that all relief is provided for as long as people want and need. We are trying our best.”
The quake also killed more than 100 people in India and China.
The Nepalese government has warned that the final toll is likely to be much higher as rescue teams are only now beginning to access remote areas in the Himalayan nation which were among the worst affected.
US military helicopters began reconnaissance trips on Monday to assess the damage in remote areas and are expected to shortly begin delivering relief supplies and airlift casualties.
Dhakal said relief operations could carry on for weeks, if not months.
“There are so many people who have been displaced and so many people who have lost their homes and barely living under thin sheets and tent structures,” he said.
While the government has set aside 20 billion rupees (around $196 million) for a reconstruction and rehabilitation fund, it is also looking for large-scale financial assistance from the international community.
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