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Foreign Ministry working to locate 116 Spaniards in wake of Nepal quake

Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo is in New Delhi organizing evacuation effort

A total of 342 people from Spain who were in the country have been located so far

Foreign tourists and climbers waiting at the airport for a flight out of Nepal following the earthquake on Saturday.
Foreign tourists and climbers waiting at the airport for a flight out of Nepal following the earthquake on Saturday. AP

The Foreign Ministry has located 342 Spaniards and is still looking for 116 others who were in Nepal at the time a powerful earthquake struck the small Asian nation on Saturday, killing at least 3,600 people according to the latest reports.

The Airbus 310 that recently took Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo to India on an official three-day visit is expected to make two trips to the Nepalese capital on Monday to fly Spaniards to New Delhi. The aircraft will carry around 70 passengers on each flight.

There are officially 121 Spaniards living in the Nepalese capital, of whom 40 spent the night inside the offices of a Spanish construction company

Diplomatic sources said that Margallo will delay his return to Madrid, which was scheduled for Tuesday morning, in order to organize the evacuation from Kathmandu, located around 800 kilometers from New Delhi.

The Spanish embassy in New Delhi (Spain has no diplomatic representation in Nepal) is regularly updating its list of citizens who have been found. Efforts are being hindered by the fact that many tourists do not sign up to the embassy’s traveler registry.

So far, no deaths or injuries among the Spanish colony in Nepal have been reported.

Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo will delay his return from India to help evacuate Spaniards from Nepal.
Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo will delay his return from India to help evacuate Spaniards from Nepal. AFP

A team made up of Spain’s consul general in New Delhi, Laura García Alfaya, the interior affairs attaché, Ramón Gómez Nieto, and a police officer specializing in rescue operations traveled to Kathmandu on Sunday to help find Spaniards in the area and organize the evacuation of those wishing to leave the country.

There are officially 121 Spaniards living in the Nepalese capital, of whom 40 spent the night inside the offices of a Spanish construction company named San José, which is working on the airport’s new terminal.

Meanwhile, the Spanish International Cooperation and Development Agency (AECID) has readied a Hercules transport aircraft with 30 tons of emergency material that will join the international relief effort as soon as all permits are secured.