Among the many Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers being sent to Nepal to help in the wake of yesterday’s massive earthquake are members of the Home Front Command training base in Zikim, a unit that The Fellowship assists through the Adopt a Battalion program.
The Zikim battalion trains soldiers in search and rescue missions, a specialized skill sorely needed in Katmandu, where thousands are dead and tens of thousands are injured, missing, or homeless.
A plane carrying 90 Israeli rescue workers and supplies lifted off from Ben Gurion Airport Monday morning for earthquake-battered Nepal.
The IDF plane is the first of two slated to leave on Monday. An IDF 747 jumbo jet packed with an IDF field hospital and some 250 rescue and medical staff has seen its take-off delayed due to problems getting landing approval in Kathmandu, where officials are still working to determine if large jets can land safely in the Nepalese capital’s damaged international airport. The second plane is slate to take off at 10 p.m. Israel time.
. . . At least 3,300 are said killed and over 6,500 wounded in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the Himalayan nation on Saturday, with the number expected to rise in the coming days. Tens of thousands have been sleeping in streets, and the fate of entire mountainside villages remains unknown as access to remote areas was disrupted by damage to roads.
The IDF field hospital team will focus on search and rescue and the creation of a full field hospital, which will be operational within 12 hours of landing.
When the flight arrives, half the Israeli team will set up the field hospital — including operating rooms, X-ray equipment and pediatric care — to provide emergency medical services to the wounded. The other half will conduct search-and-rescue missions in collapsed buildings.
“Because we will be arriving in a relatively short time, we are hoping to find survivors underneath the rubble, so for this stage the main mission is to save lives,” said Col. Yoram Laredo, who is the commander of the Search and Rescue Corps and the head of the IDF delegation to Nepal.
Please join us in praying for these brave soldiers, for the massive relief effort in Nepal, and for the many recovering and grieving the massive losses due to the earthquake.