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Nepal earthquake: Indian Army launches 'Operation Maitri'

ANI  |  New Delhi 

As part of the nation's overall relief effort for Nepal, the Indian Army has launched 'Operation Maitri'.

Soon after the devastating earthquake, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh spoke to his Nepalese counterpart General SJB Rana.

General Singh immediately detailed two senior officers to proceed to Kathmandu and coordinate the Indian Army's relief efforts in synergy and hand in hand with Nepalese Army. They are presently carrying out reconnaissance of affected areas and road conditions.

A Multi National Coordination Centre has been set up. In addition, in PPO Pokhra, Head quarters are being established for relief operations.

The following resources have been allocated so far as part of 'Operation Maitri', in support of the Nepalese Army's relief effort: 18 medical teams earmarked. Six medical teams have reached and have been deployed while the rest are on standby; 10 Engineer Task Forces (ETFs) consisting of manpower, skid steers and JCBs (One partial ETF has landed with stores. Balance are on standby in India); 10,000 blankets and 1,000 tents are on standby; 10 INMARSATs for satellite communications have reached Nepal.

Aviation assets of five ALH helicopters and two Cheetah helicopters have been staged forward to Gorakhpur. Further, taking cognizance of the request of the Nepalese Government for oxygen on account of problems in the Kathmandu Oxygen plant, additional cylinders are being dispatched (300 located at Bengdubi for dispatch to Nepal).

"Indian Army Everest Expedition was training at Base Camp when the Earth Quake struck. Their equipment was buried in the avalanche, however the team is safe and helped in recovery of dead bodies of other foreign climbers. 19 dead bodies and 61 injured persons were rescued by the Indian Army Expedition Team. The Medical Officer has treated a number of injured international mountaineers in addition to the 61 listed above and considerable medicines and rations have been distributed from own resources," said a Ministry of Defence release.

"We are working along with our Gurkha Ex Servicemen interface for guidance, relief and rescue," the release added.

First Published: Sun, April 26 2015. 21:12 IST