Members of the 67-strong UK International Search and Rescue team deployed to earthquake-hit Nepal are continuing to support the international response from more than 60 teams across the globe who have now turned their efforts to body recovery.
UKISAR have confirmed they will support body recovery operations, and have been helping at the scene of a collapsed six-storey building in Kathmandu.
The team of volunteers, drawn from UK fire and rescue services and health trusts, has been deployed by the Department for International Development (DfID).
A spokesperson for UKISAR said: “People’s chances of still being alive in the collapsed building are, tragically, virtually nil. We have confirmed that we will support body recovery operations.
“In addition, members of the team will be carrying out health infrastructure assessments in the Halambra and Lantang districts. Their team’s skills spread to far more than search and rescue. Several UKISAR members have training in, and experience of, disaster and humanitarian medicine.
“Their health infrastructure and medical assessment will involve gathering and feeding back medical intelligence to the international health organisations on the ground, to help them best prioritise their work and efforts.”
The entire UKISAR deployment is being coordinated by an Incident Command Room which is being facilitated by West Midlands Fire Service.
Aftershocks still being felt
More than a week on from the earthquake that hit Nepal near the capital city of Kathmandu, 39 out of 75 districts have been affected and at least 46 aftershocks have been felt.
Since being deployed, the UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) has helped see the remnants of an overhanging brick built column successfully removed from a teaching hospital, a temporary measure to improve the stability of the water tank put in place and completed work which will allow 10 operating theatres and up to 400 beds to be put back into use
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) Watch Manager Paul ‘Inky’ Incledon is among a team of volunteers working in Nepal to help with the search and rescue effort following the devastating earthquake.
'Inky', who is based in the Operational Training Team, is also a member of the charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) and is using his training on sound and vibration detection equipment, as well as specialised search cameras to help locate victims trapped under buildings in the remote Kathmandu valley.
AF&RS Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob Davis, who is also a SARAID Team Leader, said: “AF&RS has a partnership agreement with SARAID meaning that in the event of a disaster of this nature a number of our staff who are also SARAID members can be released from their duties to help those in need.
“In the past staff from AF&RS have been deployed to Indonesia, Pakistan and Haiti to help with the search and rescue effort. Just last month we hosted an international conference at the Severn Park Fire and Rescue Training Centre with delegates from the United Nations coming together in Bristol to discuss the coordination of the response to international disasters like earthquakes, flooding and volcanic eruptions.
“The SARAID team was one of the first international teams to reach the country. They will be using sound location devices, camera equipment and propping and shoring equipment to try and locate and rescue casualties.”
SARAID is funded entirely through public donations. To support the team visit http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/SARAID/NepalEarthquake
To read the latest updates on the recovery effort, follow @UK_ISAR_TEAM on Twitter.
Photo: four year old victim recovering - credit DFID/Russell Watkins.