• Kyodo


The advance group of a Self-Defense Forces emergency disaster relief team arrived early Thursday in quake-torn Nepal, where over 5,000 people have died and support has been slow to reach survivors.

Hirohide Nakagawa, part of the 21-member team, said, “My hope is to provide useful support, working closely with relevant organizations and armies of other countries.

“We can take advantege of our experience in relief activity after the Great East Japan Earthquake,” added the head of SDF’s disaster relief medical team.

The advance team is tasked with inspecting and determining the situation following Saturday’s quake, which has left around 11,000 injured.

The rest of the SDF relief team, totaling 93, will be dispatched after the advance team completes prepartory work on site. A C-130 transport plane carrying relief equipment is expected to take off from the Naha, Okinawa, Air Self-Defense Force base for Nepalon Thursday.

Following the quake, an estimated 450,000, or over 40 percent of total Khatmandu residents, fled the capital, mainly to other areas of the nation. International relief supplies are arriving, but they have failed to reach victims in an effective manner due to a lack of coordination to distribute them on the part of the Nepalese government, frustrating those awaiting them, according to sources.