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Swedes and Danes missing in Nepal earthquake


Nordic rescue teams join international relief efforts
Tourists from the Nordic countries caught up in the Nepal earthquake and aftershocks remain stranded in the mountainous region. Overall, more than 3,300 people are confirmed dead so far but the toll is expected to climb much higher as rescue teams reach out into the country’s devastated mountain towns and villages.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry says it is desperately trying to reach around 150 Swedes believed to be in Nepal, while Denmark is trying to account for some 400 Danes currently in the country.
“We keep trying to get in contact with those we have not yet heard from, as do their families,” press spokesman Gabriel Wernstedt told the newspaper Aftonbladet.
The Swedish Embassy in New Delhi is sending workers to the honorary consulate in Kathmandu to assist on site.
Expert teams from the Nordic countries are due to travel to Nepal today to help in the search and rescue efforts. A flight chartered by the Swedish Contingencies Agency (MSB) is on its way, carrying 60 responders, 12 dogs and search and rescue equipment including vehicles and motorcycles.
Denmark has sent an immediate donation of DKK 5 million (€670,000) in emergency state aid, which is likely be followed by further help.
The 7.8 magnitude quake hit Nepal just before noon on Saturday, destroying parts of the capital Kathmandu including its historic centre. Tourists are spending nights out in the open together with thousands of Nepalese in a giant makeshift tent city. Hospitals are overflowing with casualties. Tremors could be felt as far away as India, Bangladesh and Tibet. At least 17 mountaineers are believed to have been killed at Everest Base Camp after the quake triggered an avalanche.
The Local
[pictured: Urban sprawl in Katmandu, before the earthquake]


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