African quake rescue experts ready to leave for Nepal

Johannesburg, Apr 27: South African's rescue and relief organisation 'Gift of the Givers' is ready to go to Nepal with specialised equipment to provide assistance after the powerful earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people.

"Gift of the Givers is ready to respond; the restricting factors being the closure of Kathmandu Airport to commercial flights, the availability of visas to a neighbouring country and accessibility to Nepal through this neighbouring country," said Imitiaz Sooliman, the head of the organisation. [Nepal earthquake: Day 3 updates]


Sooliman was reacting to a call for international aid from Nepal, which has been hit by its biggest earthquake since 1934, killing almost 2,500 people.

"Twenty highly qualified search and rescue personnel together with world class technological equipment including the Life Locator, a machine that can accurately predict the presence of life 10 metres below the rubble in three minutes; the Searchcam, a camera facility that provides video footage as the team search through rubble; and other relevant equipment is available and ready as an integral part of our response capability," Sooliman added.

The organisation had been involved in rescue missions in a number of countries affected by natural disasters and wars for the past two decades.

"A highly qualified team of 20 trauma specialists are on standby. These include general, orthopaedic and maxilla-facial surgeons with anaesthetists, emergency medicine intensivists, theatre and ICU nurses, paramedics and orthopaedic assistants," he added.


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