Nepal woke up to a different evening on that fateful Saturday, 25th of April – after being struck by an earthquake with 7.9 magnitude at 11:56 am (NST).
The Himalayan country is barely up on its feet with death toll crossing 5,045, over 9,200 injured, and so far, only 14 survivors being saved from the rubble. There are over 4.2 million people in dire need of Water, Food and Sanitation.
In spite of it all, Nepal says NO more foreign rescue teams needed in quake search. (as told to Reuters by the National head of United Nations Development programme)
Time will only tell if this decision by the national head was a smart move, or if it will cost more lives!
The Good News
31 Nations came forward to help Nepal in its time of need, in assisting with their own Search And Rescue Team (SART), in form of humanitarian aid or supplies.
Here are the list of 24 Nations who have sent their rescue teams to Nepal:
- The first nation to respond within 15 minutes of the quake- “Operation Maitri”
- 10 Teams- 45 personnel each, with machinery to clear roads and debris (Additional 6 teams have been assigned)
- 4 Air Force Planes, including a C-130 Super Hercules
- 10,000 blankets and 1,000 tents are on standby
- 3 Army field hospitals (includes a 30 bedded hospital), 10 engineering task force, a medical contingent of civilian doctors
- 34 member medical team, i.e. 10 Orthopaedic Surgeons, 4 Anaesthetists, 12 male nurses and 8 OT Technicians.
- 68 member SART ( Search and Rescue Team) with Medical equipment, and 6 sniffer dogs .
- CN¥20 million (USD$3.3 million) donated for Humanitarian aid in form of Tents, Blankets and Generators
- (Some) 260 people including IDF medical personnel, Home Front Command search and rescue units, and 3 dog handlers with rescue dogs.
- 2 El Al Boeing 747-400 jumbo jets
- 95 tons of equipment to set up a field hospital including a laboratory, X-ray machines, operating rooms, children’s treatment rooms and birthing facilities.
(Israel would assist the families of 24 surrogate babies, 9 of them born prematurely by evacuating them to India and flying them to Israel to continue necessary medical procedures.)
- PAF’s 4 Lockheed C-130 planes packed with life-saving emergency equipment
- 30-bed hospital, 2,000 military meals, 600 blankets, 200 tents, and other assorted relief items
- Military emergency personnel- army doctors, medical staff, and the combined ERRA–NDMA‘s special search and rescue teams with sniffer dogs
5. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
- 130 personnel disaster response team- Urban Search and Rescue Virginia Task Force 1 from Fairfax County, Virginia was deployed
- $1 million
6. UNITED KINGDOM
- Team 60 of humanitarian aid experts (initial mission to determine the best approach to assisting those affected)
- 11 tonnes vital aid including search cameras, stretchers & tents
- £5 million in aid
- 70 relief workers, medicines, and other supplies
- 34 member team, including 6 military medical teams.
- BAF Lockheed C-130B aircraft with 10 tonnes of relief materials, including tents, dry food, water and blankets
- 63 personnel (Medical team) led by the Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay
- Nu.62 million (USD$1 million) as Rehabilitation fund
- 30 experts of A DART Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) sent as advanced group.
- CAD$5 million to the relief efforts
- 15 rescue workers and medics ( Estonian Disaster Relief Team)
- 11 rescuers (initial mission)
- Equipment and supplies
- 52 German relief workers – physicians, expert searchers, and multiple dog squads
- Mobile medical treatment centre
- 70 experts to serve for 7 days (rescuers, search and rescue dog handlers, communication specialists, physicians, and field coordinators)
- 30-man rescue team from the “Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team” (SMART)
- 20 medical doctors from Mercy Malaysia with medicines and medical supplies by C-130 aircraft.
- 62 team members- Dutch physicians, nurses, engineers, and 8-dog contingent
- 5 tons of relief supplies
17. NEW ZEALAND
- 45 urban search and rescue technicians
- NZD$1 million in humanitarian aid
- 81 firefighters of the State Fire Service
- 12 search and rescue dogs
- 6 doctors of the Polish Center for International Aid
- 50 highly skilled rescue workers with “expansive experience of operations in areas struck by earthquakes”
- 55 member SAT of the Singapore Civil Defence Force- officers from Singapore’s police forces, including the Gurkha Contingent (Total of 70 member)
- SGD$100,000 contributed
- Special Sri Lanka Air Force flights with groups of specialist physicians, other medical staff.
- Stock of medicines and emergency relief supplies
- Team of experts – including a physician, a building surveyor, and a water quality technician
- 60 search and rescue staff along with dogs
- USD$1.5 million to help with relief efforts
- 65 member from SART
25. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
- 88-member SART
- DH 5 million towards relief to quake victims by Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak
It is also interesting to note that, the rescue teams of all the nations have been alleged as having “No Coordination” at all. The Nepal Soldiers have also been accused of being “uncooperative” by some SARTs. Here is what the Reuters reports.
List of Countries Helping Nepal in Form of Humanitarian Aid and Money:
- 40 ton humanitarian relief package to dispatch to Nepal
- €300,000 available for emergency aid
- USD$1 million
- NOK 30 million
- DKK 5 million
After-Shocks In Nepal
Nepal has been experiencing over 70 aftershocks. Here is what a panicking survivor, Sita Gurung, 24, whose home had been wrecked, describes “The ground keeps shaking, even this morning it did. Every time it feels like we will be swallowed, that we will die now. I want to get out of here!“.
The picture is the recorded aftershocks Nepal has received by earthquacktrack.com, latest can be seen as received 7 hours ago, with a magnitude of 4.4.
Foreigners Missing/ Deceased toll in Nepal Earthquake
Hundreds of Foreign Nationals are still reported Missing. Here, is a quick look at the number of deaths and missing person recorded so far by BBC.
Australia: 200 confirmed safe out of 549 Australians registered as travelling in Nepal
Bangladesh: 50 nationals, including members of the country’s under-14 girls’ football team, evacuated. No information on exact number of nationals in Nepal
China: 4 dead in Kathmandu
Colombia: 7 missing
France: 674 are still not in touch, located 1,098 nationals
India: 5 killed in Nepal
UK: Several hundred Britons believed to be in Nepal. No reports of casualties but some missing.
US: 3 Americans killed, 500 unaccounted for
Estonian: 1 dead
Japan: 1 dead
The death toll is expected to rise to 10,000. Thousands are still unaccounted for, and survivors are homeless on the street fighting, for food and water. Half million tents are required, and the rain and thunder is adding to the strain of the survivors.
Can Nepal pull off the search and rescue without the help of foreign SART? Only time will tell.