Earthquake in Nepal: Switzerland sends rapid response team to the disaster area

Bern, 26.04.2015 - To assess the situation after the devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan region, Switzerland dispatched a team of specialists to Nepal on the morning of 26 April 2015. Working under the coordination of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, the team includes a doctor, a structural engineer, a logistics specialist and a water expert, and will set up initial emergency assistance.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid sent a rapid response team to the disaster area the day after a devastating earthquake struck Nepal and also caused damage and deaths in parts of India, China and Bangladesh. The six-person rapid response team – comprised of a team leader, a deputy team leader, a doctor, a structural engineer, a water specialist and a logistics specialists – left Zurich for the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, on a Swiss Air-Rescue (REGA) aircraft on the morning of 26 April 2015. As soon as they arrive in Kathmandu, the specialists will assess the situation and needs in the disaster area, coordinate efforts with the authorities and local partners, provide initial emergency assistance, and support the Swiss embassy and the cooperation office of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Kathmandu.

Besides a large number of deaths and injuries in Nepal, the earthquake also caused much damage to buildings, roads and bridges, and triggered avalanches and landslides across the Himalayan region. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Switzerland offered the Nepalese and Indian governments emergency assistance. Switzerland's subsequent emergency assistance in the affected region will be based on the initial assessment of the situation carried out by the Swiss rapid response team. The Swiss rapid response team will be reinforced with additional personnel depending on the developing situation.

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