Sri Lankan contingent busy in quake-hit Nepal

The first rescue and relief contingent from Sri Lanka with 44 service personnel and four civil medical consultants, dispatched to Nepal Sunday (26) early morning  in less than 45 minutes of their arrival in Nepal, began their rescue and relief operations in Dolalghad, a remote area about 60 km away from its capital Kathmandu.

The contingent, stationed in Dolalghad area on the advice of the Nepalese Army, has by Tuesday (28) noon, treated more than 300 badly injured victims of the devastating earthquake including a woman whose spinal cord had suffered injury due to being buried for hours under rubble. The Sri Lankan contingent was compelled to walk about 12 km before she was rescued and subsequently dispatched to the Kathmandu General Hospital Monday (27) afternoon. The full Sri Lankan contingent, numbering 160 personnel comprises engineer troops, commandos, medical consultants, paramedics and sniffer dogs. Two more remaining relief teams are expected to leave for Nepal within the next few hours.

Shortage of vehicles, reluctance on the part of vehicle owners to provide passage and torrential rains have badly restricted movement into certain affected areas, according to the Contingent Commander Major General Maithri Dias.

Sri Lankan rescuers including engineering troops are engaged in putting up temporary shelters for the victims after restoring pipe-borne water systems in some affected areas.

Brigadier Jagath Gunawardene of Sri Lanka Engineers in the Sri Lankan contingent works as the Second-in-Command.

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