Rescue efforts continue in Nepal

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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Rescue efforts, including more aid from Britain, are continuing in Nepal as hopes for survivors were raised by the “miracle” recovery of two people pulled from the rubble five days after the disaster.

More than 6,000 people have been killed by the worst earthquake to hit the country in 80 years, while more than 13,000 have been injured.

Three Royal Air Force CH47 Chinook helicopters will be sent from RAF Brize Norton to Nepal in the next few days, bolstering the aid efforts of a C-17 aircraft which arrived yesterday carrying a team of Gurkha engineers and 18 tonnes of crucial supplies, including shelter kits and solar lanterns.

The UK Government is also providing £2.5 million to the UN’s Humanitarian Air Service, which will increase helicopter capacity, enabling aid supplies to be taken to more isolated areas, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

The UK Government has also pledged £15 million, while more than £19 million was raised in public donations by the Disasters Emergency Committee just a day after it was launched.

Of the latest UK aid to be sent to the country Ms Greening said: “These highly versatile Royal Air Force helicopters and UN aircraft will mean life-saving aid supplies can be moved around Nepal and reach people in remote communities cut off by the earthquake who are in desperate need.

“Conditions in Nepal are dire, but the UK is determined to do everything it can to help support Nepal and its people.”

Yesterday dramatic footage showed Nepalese rescuers freeing 15-year-old Pemba Tamang from the debris of a seven-storey building which had collapsed in the capital.

Hours later Krishna Devi Khadka, aged in her 20s, was rescued in an area near Kathmandu’s main bus terminal.

More than 100 Britons, the youngest aged just four months and the eldest in their 60s, returned home to the UK to emotional scenes in the early hours of yesterday morning.

One British dual national killed in the disaster has been named as Hemchandra Rai, a 42-year-old married father-of-three who lived in Hong Kong.

Reports that a Briton had been killed at Mount Everest Base Camp continue to be investigated.

The British Embassy in Nepal has faced criticism from some families of British nationals who claimed their response to their relatives ‘ plight has been “useless”.

Susannah Ross, 20, was trapped in the remote Bamboo Village in Langtang National Park for five days with a group of trekkers.

Miss Ross, from Bath, Somerset, was finally evacuated by a helicopter and then taken to a military base at Dhunche, to the north of Kathmandu.

Her sister, Nina Ross, 25, said: “I haven’t heard anything to say that she has been in contact with the British embassy or the FCO.

“I don’t know if they have done anything. When I last talked to them, again, they were as useless as ever.”

The families of Joanne Frusher, 36, and her fiance, Andrew Tucknott, 39, from Brighton, contacted Green parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavillion Caroline Lucas to ask why more was not being done to help British nationals.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “Our teams are working round the clock to assist British nationals and have given practical assistance to more than 300 so far.

“We continue to work closely with the Nepalese search and rescue teams, providing them with all details we have on British Nationals and their locations.”

Published: Friday 1st May 2015 by The News Editor

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