Thousands of Indians throng Kathmandu airport

By Anil Giri,

Kathmandu : Thousands of Indians have descended on Nepal’s international airport here in a desperate attempt to go home following the deadly earthquake two days ago.

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Amid continuing aftershocks and fearing further quakes, the mass of Indians – many with virtually all their money spent – are waiting to board Indian Air Force (IAF) or civilian aircraft.

IAF planes ferrying relief material to Nepal have so far flown back nearly 2,000 Indians. Officials in New Delhi say the evacuation will continue.

Private Indian carriers have also started flying out people from Nepal.

Indians also thronged Kalanki, another busy outgoing point in Kathmandu to return home by land route.

Twenty-eight buses from the Indian state of Uttrakhand are expected in Kathmandu and other cities of Nepal to evacuate the Indians.

The Indian embassy here has told Indians to remain calm. It has also promised financial assistance if Indian nationals run short of money.

In matters of evacuation, priority is being given to the injured, the elderly, children and women, the embassy said.

Indian rescue teams have transported 47 Nepalese casualties and ferried another 230 Nepalese besides distributing 400 tonnes of relief material.

A post on the Indian embassy web site from a Santosh Koppisetti reads: “Sir, my family members are on Nepal trip. They started via road on a bus from Raxaul (in Bihar) towards Kathmandu… No news after that.”

There are many others like Santosh keen to know about the whereabouts of their relatives in Nepal who worked or lived here or were visiting the Himalayan nation.