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Update on Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Response to Nepal Earthquake

Consular, Minister Charles Flanagan, MoS Sean Sherlock, Travel, Press Releases, Asia and Oceania, 2015

 

 

Speaking in Dublin today Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, noted that the Department’s Emergency Consular Response Team which was established on Saturday remains in operation.

He also gave updated figures for the number of Irish citizens believed to be in the affected region, and additional information on the Department’s humanitarian response.

The Minister said:

“The Consular Response Team in my Department is now tracking the cases of some 150 Irish citizens who were believed to have been in Nepal at the time of the earthquake. The vast majority of these citizens have now been accounted for and are safe and well. However, our experienced Consular Response Team will continue to work actively with our Embassy in New Delhi to trace everyone as soon as possible.

“There are currently 10 citizens on the Department’s list with whom contact has yet to be made. Some of these people may be in remote areas where communications would be sporadic at the best of times, which means it is taking time to formally account for all Irish citizens. There are no suggestions at this stage of any Irish fatalities. 1 Irish citizen has been injured but is stable, and is due to be medevac’d when flight clearance permits.

"Of the other citizens on our list, some have already left the area, and others have booked flights out over the next few days. My officials are coordinating closely with EU colleagues, including those with Embassies on the ground. Commercial flights are operating out of Kathmandu so, in common with our EU partners, we are advising citizens who wish to leave to make arrangements to do so by commercial means.”

The Department’s expert Consular Response team will remain in place for as long as necessary to assist citizens who may be affected and their families. The team can be contacted on 01 418 0200.

Yesterday Minister Flanagan and Minister of State Seán Sherlock, TD, approved support of up to €1 million for the humanitarian response in Nepal. Irish Aid is working to respond to the needs of those most affected through the Emergency Response Fund Scheme for Irish Aid NGO partners on the ground in Nepal and through the Irish Aid Rapid Response Initiative.

Under the Rapid Response Initiative, Irish Aid pre-positions emergency humanitarian supplies within the UN Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) Network of hubs around the globe. This emergency stock is made up of non food items which are most in demand by people in crisis and emergency situations, including shelter and housing supplies such as tents, blankets, and tarpaulins, and water supply and sanitation equipment such as jerry cans, water tanks, soap. Irish Aid is working with the UN to provide critical shelter materials from Irish Aid stocks in Dubai to implementing partners working on the ground in Nepal.

ENDS
Press Office
28 April 2015

Notes to Editors:

In line with the Department’s general policy in consular cases, there will be no further comment on any individual cases.