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Filipino responders to assist Nepal quake survivors

The team flies to Nepal on Sunday, May 3, to conduct water purification, medical missions, and minor surgery interventions

HELP. A group of men carry a person on a stretcher after a powerful earthquake caused serious damage in Kathmandu, Nepal, 25 April 2015. File photo by Narendra Shrestha/EPA

MANILA, Philippines — A team of Filipino responders is heading to Nepal on Sunday, May 3, to assist survivors of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

The April 25 earthquake left a death toll of over 6,000 as of May 1. It is the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal in more than 80 years.

Food, water, and medicine are among the survivor’s immediate needs. (READ: How to help Nepal earthquake survivors)

The Philippine team is led by former Transportation Undersecretary Art Valdez of the Mt Everest Expedition Team. Joining Valdez are two responders specializing on earthquake rescue from the Energy Development Corporation, and Dr Ted Esguerra of the Philippine Coast Guard’s Elite Rescue Team.

They had climbed Everest in 2006, 2007, and 2008. “The sherpas took good care of us,” Esguerra recalled. 

The team is funded by the Energy Development Corporation, the country’s largest geothermal energy producer, alongside other international humanitarian teams like Jojo Sayson’s Project Michelangelo, the International Disaster Response Network, Pure Force Rescue, Stiftung Solar Energie, Operations Blessing, Wilderness Search and Rescue Philippines, and Raha Rescue,

The team is set to conduct water purification, medical missions, and minor surgery interventions. They will also conduct surveys on the preparedness of identified companies in Nepal, and loss and damage assessments.

“We will do a study on how we can further prepare for our own 7.2 magnitude earthquake,” said Esguerra. “We will learn how we can reconfigure our way of conducting drills on earthquake preparedness.”  

“The drop-duck-cover-hold did not work here,” he added.

The team also wants to help Nepal as a way of thanking them when the Philippines was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013. – Rappler.com