ROMPIN, April 29 – The Malaysian government will open an operation centre for Malaysian aid missions near the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu to channel assistance during the Search and Rescue (SAR)operations in Nepal. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said about 50 members of the Malaysian team involved in the SAR would be based in the district of Hanomandhoka, Kathmandu.
“The team comprise six members of the Royal Malaysian Air Force Medical team, National Security Council (2), Special Malaysian Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) (26), Bulan Sabit Merah Malaysia (7), MERCY Malaysia (7) and one officer from the United Nations World Food Programme Malaysia,” he told reporters after visiting the media centre for the Rompin by-election, here today.
Hishammuddin, who is also Barisan Nasional’s (BN) election coordinator for Rompin said he was also happy that the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) aircraft Hercules C-130 arrived safely with 102 Malaysians who were stranded in Nepal, this morning.
He said based on Malaysia’s Special Envoy to India, Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu’s feedback and suggestion, a collection centre was opened at the Subang TUDM base to gather goods donated for the earthquake victims in Nepal. “Those who wish to donate can contact Capt Faizal Mohd Nor and Left Col Omar Dawami at 019-4562271 or 019-9882494. They can donate various items deemed fit for the victims in Nepal,” he said.
Nepal was devastated by an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale that hit Pokhara, a city near Kathmandu, at 2.56pm (Malaysian time) on Saturday, followed by several aftershocks. The earthquake which has been described as the worst in Nepal’s history for the past 81 years, has claimed more than 5,000 victims while another 8,000 or more are reported to be injured.