Nepal Earthquake updates:
4:27pm – Upon the Royal Command of His Majesty The King, Bhutan will be sending a 37-member medical team assisted by 15 Desuups to Kathmandu to offer medical assistance for the earthquake relief operations.
The medical team coordinated by the Kidu Mobile Medical Unit (KMMU), will comprise of surgeons, medical specialists, nurses and technicians from the Ministry of Health, and Royal Bhutan Army.
The Bhutanese team of 52 will travel to Kathmandu on 27 April 2015, by a special Druk Air flight and bring back Bhutanese stranded in Kathmandu.
4:25pm – Bhutan’s U-14 girls national football team that was in Nepal for a regional competition is back in the country.
Sunday 4:20pm – Kathmandu international airport closed following powerful aftershock. Drukair flight recalled in mid-air to Paro.
Sunday 4:20pm – Bhutanese stranded in Nepal may contact the following Bhutanese officials for information/assistance: Mr. Singye Dorji: +977 9843211248, +977 9843296252 or Mr. Yeshay Wangchuk: +977 9851039671
Sunday 10:30am – Tashi Air also informs that Kathmandu airport open for operations. No word yet on whether government will be evacuating any Bhutanese from Nepal or if any aid is being arranged.
9:50pm – Drukair informs that Kathmandu airport is open for operations tomorrow which means flights will operate.
7:39pm – While media reports of Kathmandu international airport being shut following the earthquake have been published, the national airline Drukair is yet to receive an official airport closure notification. The airline is expected to receive an update shortly.
7:35pm – No reports have been received of any Bhutanese working in or visiting Kathmandu being injured or affected by a powerful 7.9 earthquake that hit Nepal earlier today.
The U-14 girls national team, that is currently in Kahtmandu for a regional tournament is also reportedly safe, according to information posted on social media by a local football official.
The home minister Damcho Dorji wrote on social media that the foreign affairs ministry has confirmed that Bhutanese working at the SAARC Secretariat, Drukair and Tashi Air offices are all safe.
No damages have been reported so far in the country, says disaster management department director Chhador Wangdi.
Economic affair minister, Norbu Wangchuk, wrote on social media that the Tala and Chukha hydro facilities were not damaged by the earthquake. He also said that Indian Prime Minister Modi had checked with the Indian embassy in Thimphu if any support would be needed by Bhutan.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay also wrote on social media that he had conveyed the condolences of the Bhutanese people and government to Nepalese Prime Minister Koirala. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Nepal,” he wrote.
Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk has also posted a number (17141919) online for any inquiries.
Lyonpo Norbu has also announced that World Intellectual Property day will not be observed tomorrow as a sign of solidarity.
By Gyalsten K Dorji