An IDF rescue and recovery mission has landed in Nepal to boost the country’s response to the devastating earthquake which has already claimed the lives of more than 4,000 people.
The 260-strong team from IDF Home Front Command was delayed by several hours due to aftershocks having caused damage to the landing strips at Kathmandu Airport. The team has brought with it 95 tons of medical and humanitarian supplies and is setting up a field hospital in Kathmandu staffed by 122 doctors, nurses and paramedics. They will operate an emergency room, operating theatres, X-ray facilities and a room for expectant mothers. Meanwhile, three 20-strong IDF rescue teams plus special dog handlers will help the search for survivors.
The IDF’s Home Front Command is considered to be a global leader in providing quick and effective disaster response to stricken regions. In recent years, IDF teams have worked intensively to provide crucial services to disaster zones including Haiti and the Philippines.
A delegation from Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency medical service arrived in Nepal on Sunday in coordination with efforts being made by the International Red Cross. The MDA team has set up a first aid station to provide basic medical care and help evacuate the more seriously injured. Israeli-based humanitarian organisation IsraAID has also sent a team to Nepal, in order to provide relief and medical supplies, plus psychologists for survivors.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities are also working to locate stranded Israelis and bring them back home. After India and South Korea, Israel has the third highest number of citizens in Nepal, as the destination is popular for young Israeli travellers. Israel’s Foreign Ministry says that it has located 200 Israelis whose whereabouts was previously unknown, leaving just 50 unaccounted for. The Ministry also said that it has secured the use of helicopters to help rescue 68 Israelis stranded in remote areas.