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MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will send a team of trained disaster rescuers to help victims of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Nepal.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, April 30, MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the 7-member team will assist Nepal authorities and aid agencies in post-recovery retrieval operations.
He added that the MMDA contingent had been previously deployed to help in the rescue operations following the 2013 earthquake in Bohol and Negros Oriental.
The MMDA chair also said that the Philippine rescuers will conduct post-earthquake studies to help fine-tune disaster plans in case an earthquake of similar magnitude hits Metro Manila.
Aside from extending humanitarian assistance, Tolentino said the deployment of the rescue team is also meant to reciprocate the international community’s assistance after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) left a massive trail of destruction across Central Philippines in 2013.
“Bukod sa learning experience at makatulong, gusto naming pasalamatan ang international community. [Ito ay] pag-reciprocate sa tumulong sa atin sa Yolanda,” he said.
(Aside from the learning experience and to help the victims, we want to thank the international community. We want to reciprocate the help extended to us post-Yolanda.)
Tolentino made the announcement a day after the Nepalese government appealed to foreign rescue teams not to come, as there were already enough in the country. (READ: Nepal tells foreign rescue teams not to come – UN)
The devastating April 25 earthquake has killed 5,489 people in Nepal, while more than 10,000 people have been injured. (READ: How to help Nepal earthquake victims)
The UN launched a $415 million appeal for survivors of Nepal’s massive earthquake as coordinators warned that it might take a 5-day trek to deliver relief supplies to some of the worst-hit rural areas. – Rappler.com