KIEV, May 5. /TASS/. A Ukrainian defence ministry’s Ilyushin Il-76 plane that was sent to Nepal’ capital Kathmandu to evacuate Ukrainian nationals has finally taken off for Kiev, Ukrainskaya Pravda said on Tuesday.
Onboard the plane, there are about 100 people, including citizens of Georgia, Russia and some other countries. The plane will make a stopover in New Delhi or Baku for refueling. "The final decision where to make a stopover will be made by the pilot," the publication said.
Ukrainian nationals were unable to leave quake-hit Nepal for several days due to a malfunction in the plane. Ukrainian media said earlier the plane was unable to take off because of technical malfunctions. Technicians could not begin repair works "due to problems with Indian customs service." A spare part for the plane was delivered right from Ukraine but it did not fit. Back on May 2, the Ukrainian foreign ministry said the Il-76 had been repaired and was ready to take off but the flight initially planned overnight to Tuesday was delayed again.
Currently, there are 210 Ukrainians in Ukraine. No contact has been established with 46.
A devastating magnitude 7.9 earthquake, the strongest one in the past 80 years, rocked Nepal on Saturday, April 25. The epicenter was located 84 kilometres away from the capital city Kathmandu at a depth of 15 kilometres. The earthquake was followed by a series of aftershocks with a magnitude ranging from 3.5 to 6.9.
According to the latest reports, the earthquake claimed more than 7,500 lives. More than 14,500 people were injured. According to Nepal’s defence ministry, the quake ruined 140,000 dwelling houses and damaged 140,000 more. The earthquake triggered snow slides at the world’s highest Mount Everest, burring about 80 climbers. Earth tremors were felt in the Indian capital New Delhi and in its eastern, northern and northeastern states, where about 70 people were killed and more than 250 injured, in Myanmar, Bangaldesh, and in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.