US Marines begin operations in quake-struck Nepal

May 2, 2015 06:28

US military aircraft, heavy equipment and air traffic controllers will start arriving in Nepal from Saturday as part of a US. relief operation following the devastating earthquake, a senior US officer said.

The 7.8 magnitude quake that struck on Saturday killed at least 6,250 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless when it destroyed parts of the capital Kathmandu and flattened villages across a wide swathe of the country.

Brigadier General Paul Kennedy of the US Marine Corps told Reuters the six military aircraft, including two helicopters, will arrive from Saturday, accompanied by 100 marines and lifting equipment under an agreement reached with Nepal's government earlier in the week.

The US military would help manage the growing piles of relief supplies clogging Nepal's only international airport, which has struggled to distribute all the aid arriving from around the world since the earthquake.

"What you don't want to do is build up a mountain of supplies," blocking space for planes or more supplies, Kennedy said.

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