KATHMANDU – Nepalese authorities have told foreign search and rescue teams not to come because there are already enough in the earthquake-hit country, a senior UN official said Wednesday.
Resident coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick said the government had decided it had enough foreign experts in and around the capital Kathmandu, which has been devastated by a massive quake that struck on Saturday.
“They feel they have enough capacity to deal with the immediate needs in search and rescue,” he told AFP.
“Those that are already en route can come but the others are being told not to.”
Kathmandu’s tiny single-runway airport has struggled to accommodate the huge rush of flights bringing in aid and foreign experts.
A French military plane carrying relief supplies and medical charity workers was on Wednesday stuck in Abu Dhabi because it could not get permission to land in Kathmandu, according to a French foreign ministry source.
McGoldrick said most of the foreign search and rescue teams in the country were still in the capital.
“There is a window of seven to nine days, tops, to rescue people. We are now on day four,” he said, adding that by Saturday operations would likely move on to the next stage.