As hopes fade, Nepal requests foreign rescuers to leave

The government of Nepal is asking foreign search-and-rescue teams to leave now that the likelihood of finding survivors buried by last month’s earthquake has largely passed. The official death toll now exceeds 7,300.

Laxmi Prasad Dhakal, a Home Ministry spokesman, said on Monday roughly half the 4,000 rescuers had already left. “I think all the rescuers will go to their respective countries by Friday.”

There seems almost no chance that anyone alive is still trapped amid the rubble from the quake, which struck just before noon on April 25. On Sunday, though, three survivors were found in the Sindhupalchok district, an especially hard hit and largely rural area north of Kathmandu.

Dr. Ian Norton, head of the World Health Organization’s program of foreign medical teams, said that the thousands of rescuers, who often work as firefighters in their home countries, had saved a total of 16 people in the aftermath of the quake, and that about 50 foreign medical teams comprising nearly 10,000 people had saved hundreds of lives and even more limbs.

[The New York Times]

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