Dutch search and rescue team leads Kathmandu relief efforts

Dutch search and rescue experts in Kathmandu are currently coordinating rescue efforts on behalf of the United Nations, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp told parliament on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has sent a team of experts to southern Asia to assist in the rescue following Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal.

The Dutch team, made up of 62 experts and eight tracker dogs, specialises in finding and extracting victims who are trapped underneath rubble and wreckage. They arrived in Nepal on Monday.

Kamp told parliament the Dutch team will oversee the relief effort until asked to stand down by the UN. The Netherlands is also prepared to do more if requested, said Kamp, who was answering MPs questions on behalf of aid minister Lilianne Ploumen.

Ploumen has also allocated €4m available for the Nepal relief effort.

Dutch nationals

A military plane carrying 47 survivors of Saturday’s earthquake landed at Eindhoven airport on Tuesday afternoon. A second plane, with 80 people on board, will land at Rotterdam airport on Wednesday morning and a third plane is being planned, the foreign affairs ministry said.

At least 12 Dutch nationals are known to have been injured in the earthquake and are being treated in the mountain kingdom, SOS International said. Most are thought to have broken bones.

There were an estimated 500 Dutch nationals in Nepal when the quake struck and there has been no contact with around 100 of them, Nos said.

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