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Dublin: 16°C Friday 17 September 2021

All Irish citizens in Nepal are safe, as 1,000 Europeans remain missing

The death toll has topped 6,000.

A vigil in Mumbai for the victims of the earthquake.
A vigil in Mumbai for the victims of the earthquake.
Image: Rajanish Kakade

Updated 21.18

ALL 170 IRISH citizens in regions affected by the Nepal earthquake have been accounted for, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed.

On Wednesday, four Irish people still hadn’t made contact.

The DFA confirmed that its Emergency Consular Response team has “worked urgently with officials at our embassy in New Delhi to ensure that all citizens notified to us were accounted for”.

Late last night, the team made contact with the final Irish citizen who was outstanding on their list.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said he is “delighted” all of the citizens are safe, noting that many of them are now back in Ireland.

Flanagan said the DFA’s consular division and the New Delhi embassy “remain in ongoing contact with a number of people who have yet to leave Nepal, and will continue to assist those citizens and families who require additional support”.

I know this has been a difficult experience for many Irish visitors to Nepal. While it is good news that there has been no Irish fatality, my thoughts remain with the people of Nepal at this very tragic time.

Flanagan noted that the initial Irish donation of €1 million “will provide life-saving assistance to families who have been displaced”.

“Officials in Irish Aid will continue to monitor needs assessments and requests from the Government of Nepal, and my Department will ensure that Ireland responds to this crisis in the best way we can,” he said.

Yesterday development minister Seán Sherlock confirmed Ireland is dispatching 63 tonnes of tents, tarpaulins, blankets and other emergency relief items to help the Nepalese people in an airlift valued at over €500,000.

The death toll of Saturday’s deadly earthquake has exceeded 6,000 people, with thousands more still unaccounted for.

1,000 EU citizens are still unaccounted for.

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The Europeans had mostly been climbing in the avalanche-hit Everest region and trekking in the remote Langtang range near the epicentre of the quake that ripped up infrastructure and left tens of thousands homeless.

“They are missing but we don’t know what their status is,” EU ambassador to Nepal Rensje Teerink told reporters in the devastated capital Kathmandu, confirming that 12 EU citizens were also known to have died.

Another EU official said the majority were likely to be found safe, but given the difficulty of the terrain and poor communications, their whereabouts were currently unknown.

Additional reporting: AFP

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Órla Ryan

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