UK vow to help in Nepal aftermath

Published: Saturday 25th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Prime Minister David Cameron has said the UK will do all it can to help in the aftermath on the Nepal earthquake, which has claimed more than 900 lives.

The majority of fatalities were reported in Nepal, with deaths also being confirmed in India, Tibet, Bangladesh and the Nepal-China border.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck just before midday sending tremors through the Kathmandu Valley and and the city of Pokhara.

British charities are preparing to help to deal with the disaster, while Prime Minister David Cameron took to Twitter to express the country’s support.

He posted: “Shocking news about the earthquake in Nepal – the UK will do all we can to help those caught up in it.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband also expressed his sympathy for all those involved, tweeting: “The awful scenes in Nepal are heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to the people affected, and to those caring for survivors.”

Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan International UK, who is in eastern Nepal on a scheduled visit, said she was on the top floor of a building when it started to “shake violently”.

She added: “It was very scary. Our colleagues advised us that the quake felt much stronger than usual.

“We are safe and now we are working with our colleagues to respond. There are crowds of people on the streets here and the hospitals are already overwhelmed.

“Our immediate priorities are to assist the emergency services with search and rescue and to establish shelter.”

Oxfam is also lending its support to the rescue effort with teams in Nepal already assessing the humanitarian need and a team of technical experts preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies.

The Foreign Office confirmed that it was aware of the reports of the earthquake.

An FCO Spokeswoman said: “We are urgently looking into it. Our thoughts are with all those affected. Our Embassy staff stand ready to help any British nationals who may need assistance.”

About an hour after the initial quake a magnitude 6.6 aftershock hit, and smaller aftershocks could be felt through the region for hours.

A senior mountaineering guide, Ang Tshering, said an avalanche swept the face of Mount Everest after the earthquake and government officials said at least 30 people were injured.

Gyanendra Shretha, an official with Nepal’s mountaineering department, said the bodies of eight people had been recovered and an unknown number remain missing or injured.

A spokeswoman for Intrepid – who arrange treks in Nepal and around the Everest region – confirmed that they did have some groups which included Brits in the area, and said they were in the process of trying to get in touch with the tour groups.

Published: Saturday 25th April 2015 by The News Editor

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