France helping with rescue efforts following Nepal quake

Nepal/earthquake – Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman

Paris, 3 May 2015

According to the Nepalese authorities, on Sunday morning the provisional toll of the earthquake stood at 7,040 dead and 14,120 injured. Operations in areas remote from the capital are continuing.

We still have no news of 79 [French] people. At this stage, three French nationals have died and seven are presumed missing.

Mountain operations to rescue our nationals are continuing, in liaison with the Nepalese authorities. Six French people were rescued by helicopter this morning in the Manaslu region./.

Nepal/earthquake/French nationals – Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman

Paris, 30 April 2015

The latest earthquake toll drawn up by the Nepalese authorities stands at 5,500 dead and more than 10,000 injured. The international effort to support them is continuing.

An initial group of nearly 200 compatriots and several foreign nationals was welcomed this morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, on a flight chartered by Airbus Group and the Airbus Foundation, under the coordination of the Foreign Ministry’s crisis and support unit. Hospitals then took charge of some 20 injured people.

A second group of 110 passengers embarked in Kathmandu this morning on a government flight chartered by the crisis and support unit. It is scheduled to arrive in Paris in the evening. It will be welcomed by the Minister of State for Development and Francophony.

To date, three French people have died, but sadly other deaths are feared; 2,260 compatriots have been located. There are ongoing efforts to get news of the 268 who remain uncontactable. If the weather allows, there will be several helicopter flights in the day to pick up around 60 nationals located in isolated areas.

The French humanitarian teams are working flat out on the ground in the relief operations. Thirty-five sécurité civile (1) personnel and nearly 100 humanitarian personnel have been operational in Kathmandu since yesterday, and [there are] 45 tonnes of humanitarian aid (tents, medicines, food aid, hygiene kits). A cargo plane carrying 40 tonnes is expected very soon.

(1) emergency services including rescue, firefighting and emergency medical services.

Nepal/earthquake/French nationals – Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman

Paris, 29 April 2015

According to the local authorities on Wednesday morning, the toll of the earthquake and the ensuing aftershocks has increased: 5,057 dead and more than 10,000 injured. The search operations are continuing in order to find those missing in the mountains and free the victims from the rubble. French teams are actively contributing to this.

France is playing its full role in the rescue and aid efforts which are mobilizing the international community.

Regarding our compatriots, on Wednesday morning 2,209 French people had been located safe and well. Five hundred and fourteen are still uncontactable. Efforts are under way to locate and bring back to Kathmandu those in trouble in isolated areas.

Two French people have died and there are strong suspicions that a third has died. Twenty or so are injured, four of them seriously. Two hundred and thirty of our nationals are currently being accommodated by our embassy at Kathmandu’s French school.

France is deploying significant emergency aid. A plane made available by Airbus, transporting 55 medical and humanitarian personnel and 25 tonnes of humanitarian equipment (shelters, medicines and food aid), landed in Kathmandu this morning. Two other planes transporting rescue personnel and 60 tonnes of humanitarian aid are expected soon.

These planes will take our most afflicted and vulnerable compatriots (the injured and families with children) back to France./.

Nepal/earthquake/French nationals – Press briefing by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Paris, 27 April 2015

THE MINISTER – I gave an update this morning on the toll from the terrible earthquake on Saturday that devastated Nepal, which is in ruins. Unfortunately the human toll is constantly rising. It stands at more than 3,000 dead and very many injured, half of them in the Kathmandu Valley. And we believe it’s likely to go even higher.

The Nepalese disaster management authority, which is working in extremely difficult conditions, is still cut off from many regions of the country, which explains why we must be cautious about the toll. Several strong aftershocks have been recorded since Saturday, and the weather conditions are bad, with heavy rain in Kathmandu. One piece of positive news: Kathmandu airport is operational again and international aid is beginning to arrive.

This morning, in liaison with our teams on the ground, I took stock of the situation of our compatriots and the mobilization of French assistance. We’ve managed to locate 1,400 French people safe and sound. And in particular, we’ve just found a group of eight trekkers we’d been very worried about.

Sadly, two of our compatriots who were on holiday have died, killed by a landslide in Kathmandu.

Some 10 French people are injured, and we still have no news of 676 of our compatriots, particularly because of the communication difficulties in the country. We’re actively trying to find them, in liaison with the tour operators, because many of them were on holiday.

Over the past 48 hours, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development’s crisis and support unit has dealt with more than 10,000 calls, and I remind you of its number: 01 43 17 56 46.

Yesterday I made sure our embassy in Kathmandu, which was damaged by the earthquake, would receive reinforcement from a [disaster] management team that has travelled from New Delhi. The French school in Kathmandu has been opened to take in those of our compatriots who are without shelter. An advance party of 10 staff from the emergency services and the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency arrived from Paris this morning. A jumbo jet is being chartered to transport some 30 more rescuers by tomorrow morning, Tuesday. At the request of the local authorities and the United Nations coordinator, this specialized team will concentrate primarily on the issue of drinking water. The aircraft will also transport several dozen NGO staff and repatriate from Kathmandu those of our compatriots who are in the most vulnerable situations, particularly families with young children and injured people.

We’ve made sure that 40 tonnes of humanitarian aid – among other things, electric generators, tents, medicines, surgical equipment and food supplements – is sent between now and Wednesday evening on a special flight which is also going to carry the NGOs’ cargo. I want to pay tribute in particular to the commitment of the state services and our NGOs. Médecins du Monde, Handicap International and Action contre la Faim are involved in the aid operations and Médecins Sans Frontières intends to deploy an inflatable hospital to treat those injured outside Kathmandu. I also want to highlight the action of Pompiers de l’Urgence international [firefighters’ organization], Electriciens Sans Frontières, Secours Islamique de France and SOS Altitude, which are taking part in these aid operations.

Q. – Have you any further news about the two French victims?

THE MINISTER – Sadly, they were there on holiday and have been killed. They were a couple, one of whom worked in Mme Fleur Pellerin’s office.

Q. – About the situation the injured people are in, are you worried about their prospects for survival?

THE MINISTER – I can’t say, and what we’re trying to do as a matter of priority is locate the 676 French people. This doesn’t mean they’re all in danger. But in the utter, obvious chaos prevalent in that country, which is in ruins, the priority is to assist and make a list of our compatriots. A huge amount of work has already been done and I sincerely thank those who have done it, but there’s still a lot of work to do./.

Published on 11/05/2015

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