As Nepal was shattered by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, it emerged that at least 30 Estonian citizens were also in the area. The Foreign Ministry has had contact with 25 of them, but at least one citizen has died.
While expressing its condolences to the loved ones of the Estonian who died in the Langtang valley, the Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it is still awaiting confirmation regarding four other Estonian citizens believed to be in Nepal. The ministry also confirmed that it will provide necessary assistance to other Estonian citizens in leaving Nepal.
Estonian government held an emergency meeting on Sunday night and decided to allocate 91,300 euros from a reserve fund and dispatch a 15-member response team to the disaster area to help with rescue efforts. The team was scheduled to fly to Nepal in cooperation with Finnish rescuers and expected to stay in the area for up to 12 days. However, the mission has now been cancelled, as Kathmandu airport did not give the flight departing from Kuopio, Finland, a landing permission.
The 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred in the Kathmandu valley, 80 kilometers north-west of the Nepalese capital, on Saturday morning. Over 4,300 have been confirmed dead and the death toll is expected to rise further as the debris is scanned for survivors and search teams reach more remote areas. The earthquake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 18 people.
Editor: S. Tambur