Israel on Sunday dispatched some 240 IDF soldiers to take part in search and rescue efforts in Nepal, which on Saturday suffered a 7.9 earthquake that left at least 2,000 people dead and many more unaccounted for.
Medical, logistics and rescue officers with Israel’s Home Front Command were among the delegation, which will establish a field hospital in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.
In addition to aiding the local population, the IDF team will be tasked with finding and assisting an estimated 250 Israelis in Nepal who by Sunday afternoon had failed to make contact with family for friends back home.
Nepal, like many Asian countries, is extremely popular with Israeli backpackers.
Also in need of rescue are 24 Israeli babies born to surrogate mothers in recent days. The babies and their biological parents are to be flown out of Nepal via helicopters organized by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Immediately following the disaster, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said: “Our hearts and thoughts are with the nation of Nepal who are dealing with a terrible disaster, and with our loved ones who are in danger and distress.”