Home Team relief mission in Nepal ends

THE Home Team contingent that was carrying out search- and-rescue operations and rendering medical assistance in earthquake-stricken Nepal concluded its mission yesterday.

Over the last 10 days, the team worked closely with the Nepalese authorities and other aid groups in a range of disaster relief efforts, including rescue and recovery efforts and providing basic humanitarian supplies. All 126 officers are scheduled to return to Singapore by the end of this week, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a press statement yesterday.

The contingent - comprising 60 Singapore Civil Defence Force officers and 66 officers from the Singapore Police Force, including Gurkha officers - is the Home Team's largest deployment for an overseas disaster relief operation.

The first batch of officers was deployed on April 26, a day after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The officers initially carried out search-and-rescue operations in the capital Kathmandu and Nepal's second-largest city Pokhara.

But with ground operations moving into the recovery phase, the contingent later shifted to the Gorkha district, which is close to the epicentre of the earthquake and was assessed to be in urgent need of assistance. In Gorkha, the officers assisted in evacuating casualties via helicopter, provided medical aid and conducted humanitarian operations.

The team has since transferred its remaining medical supplies, including dressings, bandages and medicine, to the Singapore Red Cross team operating in Nepal. Its humanitarian aid supplies have also been transferred to local networks for distribution.


This article was first published on May 8, 2015.
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