Korea to offer $1.33m in relief aid to Nepal

Korea to offer $1.33m in relief aid to Nepal
Prayer flags frame a rescue helicopter as it ferries the injured from Everest Base Camp on Sunday, a day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake devastated the camp.

South Korea said Sunday it will provide US$1 million (S$1.33 million) in emergency humanitarian aid to Nepal, which was hit Saturday by a 7.8-magnitude quake that left more than 1,800 people dead and others injured, including at least three South Koreans.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry said that it is also considering offering other assistance, such as sending an emergency relief team.

"Our government would like to extend our deep condolences and solace to the Nepali government and the people regarding the loss of many people and properties and the damage to cultural heritage," said Ministry Spokesperson Noh Kwang-il.

"We express our hope that damages will be quickly recovered and the Nepali people can quickly emerge from their shock and sorrow."

The Korean Red Cross will also offer $100,000 in emergency relief aid to the quake-ravaged country and plans to send nearly 10,000 blankets and nearly 3,500 relief kits containing daily necessities, along with an emergency medical team.

Immediately after the disaster struck Nepal, several countries including Germany, Spain, France, Norway, Russia, Israel, Mexico and Monaco pledged relief efforts. UNESCO also pledged to provide support for the restoration of damaged world heritage sites in the country.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry confirmed that at least three South Koreans ― one worker and two tourists ― were injured. The worker was hurt at a construction site for a hydroelectric power plant in a region 70 kilometers north of Kathmandu.

The ministry is running a task force to keep abreast of any additional injuries to South Koreans in Nepal. Currently, some 650 South Koreans reside in the country. An unconfirmed number of tourists were also in the country at the time of the disaster.

Saturday's quake in Nepal was the country's worst disaster in more than 80 years. In 1936, an 8.1-magnitude quake devastated the nation, killing 10,700 people in Nepal and part of India. In 1988, a 6.8-magnitude quake hit Nepal, killing more than 700 people.

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