ABU DHABI // A search and rescue team left for Nepal on Sunday to help find survivors of the deadly earthquake.
The Ministry of Interior’s team is being led by Lt Col Mohammed Al Ansari, who is also the director of Abu Dhabi Civil Defence.
The call to deploy the UAE team of 88 people was made by Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.
The UAE team will be joined by UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination staff.
“The team is coordinating its international operations urgently, carrying out relief operations in friendly countries and conducting humanitarian missions and field work as part of the UAE’s constant keenness to help people in distress and rescue victims of natural disasters,” Lt Col Al Ansari said.
While in Nepal, the UAE mission will use the latest equipment as they search for survivors, and provide disaster victim identification.
The UAE team, who recently took part in a training exercise where they dealt with a building after an earthquake, had similar missions in Pakistan in 2005, Indonesia in 2006 and 2007, and Afghanistan in 2008.
Emirates Red Crescent will deliver humanitarian aid to those in the areas that have been affected. One ERC group flew with the search team, while another will travel to New Delhi to buy food and medical supplies to be flown to Nepal.
The ERC teams will head to Nepal on the orders of the President, Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and Chairman of ERC.
As the support has come in from various countries, so to have the well wishes from various world leaders.
On Saturday, Sheikh Khalifa sent his condolences to Ram Baran Yadav, Nepal’s president, after the disaster struck.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed also expressed their sympathies.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, has donated Dh5 million to provide relief to quake victims.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday night tweeted a warning to citizens to avoid travelling to Nepal.
It also provided contact information for Emiratis who are stuck in Nepal, asking them to contact its operations administrators through the UAE mission in New Delhi.