Belfast Telegraph

Irish citizens trapped by quake

Up to 50 Irish citizens could be trapped in the region of Nepal left devastated by a catastrophic earthquake.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said an emergency consular response team had been set up and was working with Embassy officials in New Delhi to provide help.

Minister Charles Flanagan said: "The Department is aware of some 50 citizens in the affected region.

"Contact has already been established with many of them. Communications lines have been affected so this is an ongoing process that may take some time.

"We will continue to provide consular advice and assistance over the coming days as the situation evolves."

Up to 2,000 people were killed when the massive quake, the worst in 80 years, struck yesterday.

A series of powerful aftershocks, the biggest of which had a magnitude of 6.7 have also hit the capital Kathmandu today.

Mr Flanagan added: " Embassy officials are continuing to work actively with EU and other international partners in the region, with a view to providing practical assistance for our citizens."

Meanwhile, Oxfam Ireland has launched an emergency appeal.

A team of technical experts is preparing to travel to Nepal with supplies of clean water, shelter, sanitation and emergency food.

Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken said: "The scene is one of utter devastation, according to colleagues on the ground.

"It's now a race against time to save lives and to get help to the communities overwhelmed by tragedy on a massive scale."

Cecilia Keizer, Oxfam country director in Nepal said: "Communication is currently very difficult. Telephone lines are down and the electricity has been cut off. The water is also cut off. The number of people killed is continuing to rise."


From Belfast Telegraph