POLITICS

DART digs out after second Nepal quake, opening roads and treating victims

05/13/2015 11:37 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Canadian Forces personnel have cleared key roads of debris in Nepal following a second earthquake that hit the country on Tuesday.

Lt.-Col. Ed Izatt, the commander of Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, says that's allowing the flow of aid agencies and essential goods to affected areas.

Izatt says the DART has also treated 550 patients in the last eight days at its medical clinic, which it has set up at Camp Sumitra, about 70 kilometres northeast of Kathmandu.

Canada has about 200 DART personnel in Nepal, who were deployed after late April's devastating earthquake, which has claimed more than 8,000 lives.

The second quake left dozens dead and more than 1,000 injured, striking midway between Kathmandu and Mount Everest, and was felt all over the Nepalese capital and surrounding region.

Speaking via teleconference from Nepal, Izatt says Canadian personnel are co-operating with a Chinese team to clear the Friendship Highway, a key land artery that connects Kathmandu to northern regions.

Izatt says Canadian personnel are venturing out into local villages to better assess the needs of people there.

They also delivered emergency hand cranked radios to two villages so they can receive information on relief efforts, and taught the villagers how to use them, says Izatt.

Izatt says the priority of the DART is to provide emergency relief to the victims of the second earthquake.