KATHMANDU, (Nepal) — China this weekend rushed a 62-person team to Nepal to help with the ongoing search rescue operation after Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake. They landed in Kathmandu early Sunday and set to work immediately, according to Chinese state media.
The rescuers and a second group from the People’s Liberation Army are both well-equipped to help in the desperate search for survivors of a disaster that has already claimed more than 3,600 lives: Some are veterans of the devastating 2008 Sichuan earthquake, which had a 70,000 death toll, and they bring much-needed supplies.
China offered to provide Nepal 20 million RMB’s worth of emergency aid (about 3.4 million U.S. dollars), and the materials will be soon transported to the country with chartered planes.
The rescue mission in Nepal is the tenth by the Chinese team on foreign soil. Since its establishment in April 2001, it has participated in several international humanitarian relief efforts.
China’s rescue team pulls 1st survivor out of debris after Nepal quake
After almost four hours of work, members of the China’s International Rescue Team successfully pulled a trapped teenager out of the debris of a collapsed building here Sunday evening, Chinese media Xinhua reported.
The 16-year-old boy was the first saved by the Chinese team. The 62-strong team arrived Sunday noon in the Nepalese capital, making it the first heavy international rescue team to have reached Nepal since the country was struck by a massive earthquake Saturday.
According to the latest official figures, at least 2,500 people have been confirmed dead in the magnitude-7.9 earthquake and the number of injured climbed to 5,900.
The Chinese rescue team, composed of 40 rescuers, 10 medical workers and 12 seismic experts, started working immediately after they arrived, before they had a moment to recover from the fatigue after a sleepless night and a five-hour jet ride to Kathmandu.
The team, taking with it six sniff dogs and equipment needed for rescue efforts, also brought some emergency relief materials for the country, including tents, blankets and power generators.