Nepal: 4,300 Dead, Rescue Efforts Intensify

Israel works with Nepal to rescue stranded hikers, who have reportedly faced violence from locals; 216 due to return Tuesday at noon.

Tova Dvorin,

Family runs for shelter in aftershock at Kathmandu, Nepal
Family runs for shelter in aftershock at Kathmandu, Nepal
Reuters

Three days after a devastating earthquake shook Nepal, at least 50 Israelis remain unaccounted for Tuesday, down from 250 on Sunday. 

As of Tuesday morning, the current death toll stands at 4,352, with 8,063 confirmed injured.

Meanwhile, several Israelis hiking in the area have been located on mountainsides, and noted that they are running out of food and lacking shelter. Some have faced extreme violence from locals who have found them. 

Rescue worker Yechiel Magnus told Army Radio this morning that the Israeli rescue team has sent a helicopter to rescue the Israelis who complained of the violence.

"Two helicopters will go out and bring them back to Kathmandu," he said. 

Yiftach Asahel, who is stranded in the disaster area, told Army Radio that the travelers are mindful of the strain on locals' resources. 

"We are aware that we can become a burden, and that's why we do everything we can to help," he said. Yiftach, who has been staying in Nepal doing volunteer work an hour and a half's drive from Kathmandu, said that the whole village is staying in tents and that residents are beginning to understand that recovery may take several weeks. 

216 Israeli hikers who managed to return to Kathmandu after the earthquake are returning to Israel Tuesday at 12:00 pm, according to Channel 2. It is the second mass airlift to return; the first brought gay Israeli couples returning from Kathmandu with their surrogate newborns on Monday. 

Rescue efforts will only intensify, the Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday, after an early-morning phone call between Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey. 

Liberman expressed to Pandey Israel's condolences over the tragedy and the many casualties; Pandey thanked him for Israel's help in the disaster, which includes sending a special IDF delegation, as well as field hospitals set up by Magen David Adom (MDA) and United Hatzalah. 

Pandey, meanwhile, approved Liberman's request to use helicopters hired by Israel from nearby India and China to rescue stranded Israeli hikers, a demand which has reverberated throughout the Israeli Foreign Ministry since frustrated parents staged a protest on Monday. 




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