KIEV, May 7. /TASS/. Head of Ukraine’s State Emergencies Service Zoryan Shkiryak said on Thursday the operation to evacuate Ukrainian nationals from Nepal was a failure.
"I am not going to accuse anyone, since this is our common responsibility. But we must draw conclusions in order not to make muffs like this," the UNIAN news agency quoted him as saying. He stressed however that the State Emergencies Service had "made not a single blunder."
He said the major mistake was "that there was no single control centre." "There was no clear coordination between us [the Emergencies Service] and the defence ministry," he underscored.
Ukrainian nationals were unable to leave quake-hit Nepal for several days due to a malfunction in an Ilyushin Il-76 plane the Ukrainian defence ministry had sent to catch them. It left Kiev on April 30 but had to land in New Delhi because of a technical malfunction. A spare part for the plane was delivered right from Ukraine but it did not fit.
On the way back to Kiev, the ill-fortune plane had one of its landing gear wheels broken while landing at the New Delhi airport. Later on, the plane made one more stopover in Baku. The Ukrainian media said the stopover in Baku was needed to allow some rest for the pilots. The plane spent twelve hours at the Baku airport.
The plane finally reached Kiev in the small hours on Thursday. It brought 76 Ukrainian nationals and 11 citizens of other countries.
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 about 90 aftershocks with a magnitude ranging from 3.2 to 6.9. According to the latest reports, the earthquake claimed more than 7,500 lives. More than 16,000 people were injured. According to Nepal’s defence ministry, the quake ruined 191,000 dwelling houses and damaged 1475,000 more.