Published: 03 May 2015
1. The Home Team has, to date, deployed a total of 126 officers to Nepal to carry out rescue and recovery operations and to provide humanitarian aid. This is the Home Team's largest ever deployment for an overseas disaster relief operation. The contingent comprises 66 SPF officers (including Gurkha officers) and 60 SCDF officers.
2. The Home Team contingent has been working closely with the Nepalese authorities and other international assistance teams to carry out a range of disaster relief operations – search & rescue and recovery operations, disaster victim identification, rendering medical assistance and providing basic humanitarian supplies.
3. With ground operations moving into the recovery phase, the contingent has shifted its base of operations from Kathmandu to Pokhara, from where it is coordinating the humanitarian operations in Gorkha district. As road connections have been damaged, our personnel and supplies have to be airlifted to Gorkha via helicopters. The focus is on providing humanitarian aid, such as medical assistance and distribution of water, and basic food items, to the affected population (see map attached). Many of our Gurkha officers come from the Gorkha district and are familiar with the terrain, language and local communities. With Gurkha officers in the HT contingent, we have been able to reach out effectively to many affected families.
4. Commenting on the mission, SCDF's Operation Lionheart Commander, LTC Alvin Tan, said: "We stand together with the Nepalese people in this time of need, and we are determined to help where we can. From our ground assessments, Gorkha district is one of the places in urgent need of humanitarian aid. In some remote villages such as Laprak, 90% of the houses have collapsed, with many fatalities, and this is where we are focusing our efforts to provide much needed essential supplies and medical assistance. Road access to some areas has also been disrupted by landslides, and certain paths are hazardous for travelling. Temperatures have also dropped to 10 degrees Celsius."
5. SPF's contingent commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police Lian Ghim Hua, said: "My heart goes out to the victims and survivors of the Nepal earthquake and to the families. My officers and I are working tirelessly round the clock to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. We are looking to reach out to villages in the Gorkha region, which is close to the epicenter of the earthquake."