Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday confirmed that 13 Indian nationals have been killed in Nepal in the recent earthquake that struck the Himalayan country.
"In terms of confirmed Indian fatalities, the last report we had from the embassy was that the remains of six tourists from Assam have been handed over to the next of kin to bring back to India. The embassy has confirmed that there are seven more Indian fatalities; we are not yet giving the details of that till we have the link up with the next of kin," Jaishankar told the media.
"One of the very important reports that we received just now is that the rescue of 12 Indians by the Nepalese Army, from Tamakoshi. We are working in tandem with them and other countries are also doing their bit," he added.
Speaking of the rescue and relief missions undertaken by India, Jaishankar said that the road routes have opened up.
"There were a few more relief and rescue flights today taking in food, milk powder, communication equipment and so on. The road route has opened up, so number of buses and trucks carrying relief supplies and medicines also reached Kathmandu and after discharging their cargo brought back a number of people as well," he said.
"Then today our Ambassador called on the Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, he also met the Army Chief, and both the Prime Minister and the Army Chief expressed their appreciation for the swift assistance rendered by India," he added.
Saturday's earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale, resulted in the deaths of over 5,000 people and was one of the worst calamities suffered by Nepal in over 80 years.
There is an acute shortage of food, water, electricity and medicines in Nepal. Locals in Kathmandu and other adjoining areas are spending their nights out in the open over fears of another earthquake.
Hundreds of people are still trapped under tonnes of rubble in Kathmandu and some of the worst-affected remote mountainous areas in the quake-ravaged country.
India is doing everything possible to maximise the relief and minimise the tribulations faced by people of the neighbouring nation.
More than 700 disaster relief experts drawn from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed by India, which has mounted massive relief operations as part of 'Operation Maitri'. Relief material weighing 8,200 kilograms were distributed by choppers and the Indian Air Force.
India has also sent a team of senior officials from the ministries of Home, Defence, External Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to co-ordinate the rescue and relief operations. The team is monitoring the evacuation of stranded Indians in Nepal. Nearly 5,400 Indians have been brought back so far.Suggest a correction