Pakistani aircraft reach quake-hit Nepal as death toll tops 2,000

ISLAMABAD: Two Pakistani aircraft carrying relief supplies have reached quake-hit Nepal to aid in relief efforts as further aftershocks jolt the neighbouring Himalayan nation, the Pakistani foreign office said on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani foreign office said the aircraft may also bring between 10 to 15 Pakistani citizens back from Nepal.

Further aftershocks as death toll tops 2,000

Pakistan’s aircraft reached Nepal as rescuers in the mountainous country search frantically survivors of a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake that have so far killed more than 2,000 people.

The USGS said a 6.7-magnitude aftershock struck again on Sunday Monday, with climbers reporting the tremor triggered more avalanches on Mount Everest.

The latest quake struck northeast of Kathmandu near the border with China at a depth of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

The effects of the aftershocks were felt as far off as New Delhi in India and well as in Peshawar. No casualties or damages were reported from the tremors felt in Pakistan.

Pakistan sends special search and rescue teams, relief items

In a statement on Saturday, the foreign office and the military’s public relations wing said Pakistan would dispatch relief goods and rescue teams to the neighbouring country on Sunday morning.

“To provide relief to the earthquake victims in Nepal, four C-130 aircraft carrying 30 bedded hospital, special search and rescue teams and relief items will (be) dispatched to Nepal tomorrow (Sunday),” said a statement from the ISPR.

The rescue team sent to Nepal would include a “30-bedded hospital comprising Pakistan army doctors team of specialists which include surgical, medical, orthopedic, gynecologist, anesthesiologist, child specialist, radiologist and paramedics,” said the statement.

“An urban search and rescue team of Pakistan Army which is highly specialised for rescue during natural disasters is being sent,” it added.

The rescue team is equipped with ground penetrating radars, concrete cutters, and is specially trained to search for people trapped in rubble with the help of sniffing dogs, it said.

Food items being dispatched include 2000 meal ready-to-eat packs, eatables, water bottles, medicines, 200 tents, 600 blankets and other necessary items.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier called his Nepali counterpart H.E. Sushil Koiralato extend condolence and sympathies on the devastations caused by the earthquake.

He said that the Pakistani ambassador is coordinating with Nepal’s Foreign Ministry to extend every possible assistance to the earthquake-devastated country.