Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House
Israelis rescued from Langtang region
Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House

70 Israelis rescued from northern Nepal

Hikers airlifted from Langtang region to safety as part of rescue mission organized by Kathmandu Chabad House director; baby born in IDF field hospital.

Seventy Israeli hikers were airlifted from northern Nepal on Friday by private helicopters as part of a rescue mission organized by Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz of the Kathmandu Chabad House and his wife, Chani Lifshitz.



The Israelis were stranded in villages in the area of Lukla and the Langtang region. A number of the backpackers were taken to Kathmandu, while others were evacuated to other temporary accommodations. Chani Lifshitz said that the rescue operation was a collaboration with the Magnus Search and Rescue team, and added that the teams also rescued Jewish tourists from other countries who were travelling in Nepal.


Israeli hikers rescued from Langtang region (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House) (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House )
Israeli hikers rescued from Langtang region (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House)


"The majority of those who were rescued are currently staying at the Chabad House and will be spending the Shabbat with us, an experience which we are sure will be exciting and very special," Lifshitz said. "It will be filled with stories, experiences and hopes of finding the last missing Israeli, Or Asraf."

Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House  (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House )
Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House


A helicopter carrying members of the National Search and Rescue Unit took off on Friday to search for Asraf, who has not made contact since the large-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal last Saturday.


Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz (L) (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad house) (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad House )
Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz (L) (Photo: Kathmandu Chabad house)


The search and rescue Israel sent by Israel will search for the missing traveler in the Langtang National Park.


Friends of missing Israeli Or Asraf prepare for searches  (Photo: Flyeast Nepal) (Photo: Flyeast Nepal)
Friends of missing Israeli Or Asraf prepare for searches (Photo: Flyeast Nepal)


Asraf is the only Israel who has not yet made any contact since the earthquake struck.


On Thursday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel "would do everything in order to locate Or."


Photo: Flyeast Nepal (Photo: Flyeast Nepal)
Photo: Flyeast Nepal


Baby born in IDF field hospital

After almost a week of heartbreaking news from earthquake-hit Nepal, there was a small but beautiful moment of joy.


A baby girl was born Friday to a young Nepalese couple in the IDF field hospital that was set up in Nepal following the deadly 7.9 magnitude earthquake that devastated the country.


Both the mother and the baby, who hasn't been named yet, are being treated by the IDF's Medical Corps and are doing well.


Lata Chand, 19, was heavily pregnant when the earthquake struck last Saturday. She and her husband ran out of their house in panic. Their home was undamaged, but the hospital where she was to give birth was forced to close.


On Friday they went instead to a field hospital set up by the Israeli military where the baby was born.


IDF soldiers and Nepalese troops at the makeshift hospital (Photo: Itay Blumenthal) (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)
IDF soldiers and Nepalese troops at the makeshift hospital (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)


The beaming midwife, Dganit Gery, said she hoped the birth would show all Nepalese women that there is hope for the future.


Lata's husband Hariender Chand said they were terrified the quake would cause her to miscarry.


"When the quake struck I was thinking 'will we survive?' because most of the pregnant women miscarried their babies. I was scared it would happen to us. Now we're safe, it's good."


Up to 1,000 Europeans missing

Up to 1,000 Europeans are among the missing, mostly around popular trekking routes, the head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Nepal said.


"We don't know where they are, or they could be," Ambassador Rensje Teerink told reporters. Officials said it was hard to trace the missing because many backpackers do not register with their embassies in the country.


However Nepal's home ministry said it had not been informed the number of EU citizens missing could be that high.

"If that is the case then why are the embassies not informing us? Why have they not contacted the Nepal government?," home ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told Reuters.


Rubble of collapsed houses in Nepal (Photo: Itay Blumenthal) (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)
Rubble of collapsed houses in Nepal (Photo: Itay Blumenthal)


The number of people missing from France, Italy and Spain is 221 according to checks Reuters made with their governments, while other European nations are yet to provide an updated figure on how many of their citizens are unaccounted for.


The confirmed death toll from last Saturday's disaster has risen to 6,250, with 14,357 injured according to the government. There is no number for the missing, but bodies are still being pulled from the debris of ruined buildings, while rescue workers have not been able to reach some remote areas.


In the capital Kathmandu, many unclaimed bodies were being quickly cremated because of pressure on mortuaries. Besides the possibility of disease, the stench of the corpses was spreading through localities where buildings had collapsed.


Many bodies could be migrant workers from neighbouring India, who would be living alone in the Himalayan nation, local officials said.


"Morgues are full beyond capacity and we have been given instruction to incinerate bodies immediately after they are pulled out," said Raman Lal, an Indian paramilitary force official working in coordination with Nepali forces.


Aid was beginning to slowly reach remote towns and villages nestled in the mountains and foothills of the impoverished nation. But government officials said efforts to step up the pace of delivery were frustrated by a shortage of supply trucks and drivers, many of whom had returned to their villages to help their families.


"Our granaries are full and we have ample food stock, but we are not being able to transport supplies at a faster pace," said Shrimani Raj Khanal, a manager at the Nepal Food Corp.


Photo: AP (Photo: AP)
Photo: AP


Army helicopters have air-dropped instant noodles and biscuits to remote communities but people need rice and other ingredients to cook a proper meal, he said.


Many Nepalis have been sleeping in the open since the 7.8 magnitude quake, with survivors afraid of returning to their homes because of a series of powerful aftershocks. According to the United Nations (UN), 600,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged.


Information Minister Minendra Rijal said the government would provide $1,000 in immediate assistance to the families of those killed, as well as $400 for cremation or burial.


The UN said 8 million people in the country of 28 million were affected, with at least 2 million needing tents, water, food and medicines over the next three months.


Itay Blumenthal and news agencies contributed to this report.



פרסום ראשון: 05.01.15, 20:49
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