The first rescue and relief contingent from Sri Lanka with 44 service personnel and 4 civil medical consultants, dispatched to Nepal Sunday (26) early morning on the directions of the President and the Prime Minister with close supervision of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, in less than 45 minutes of their arrival in Nepal, has begun their rescue and relief operations from Dolalghad, a remote worst-affected area, about 60 km away from Kathmandu, Nepal, the Army Media reported.
The contingent, commanded by Major General Maithri Dias remains deployed in Dolalghad area on the advice of the Nepalese Army and other ministerial authorities, has by Tuesday (28) noon, treated more than 300 badly injured victims in the devastating earthquake, including a woman whose spinal cord suffered complete damage after she remained buried alive for many hours.
The Sri Lankan contingent was compelled to walk about 12 km before she was rescued and subsequently dispatched to the Kathmandu General Hospital Monday (27) afternoon. The full Sri Lankan contingent, numbering 160 personnel comprises of Engineer troops, Commandos, medical consultants, paramedics and sniffer dogs and two more remaining relief teams are expected to leave for Nepal within next few hours.
Taking a personal interest, Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army who has been in constant touch with the Army contingent round the clock, has given approval for the contingent to pocket out own financial resources for hire of private vehicles, deemed essential for emergency requirements of the victims and dispatch of the injured.
So far, the Army contingent, hiring private vehicles, has already transported victims to hospitals two times since the dearth of vehicles, reluctance of vehicle owners for passage as well as continuous torrential downpour, has badly restricted movements into certain affected areas, according to the Contingent Commander Major General Maithri Dias.
Similarly, Sri Lankan contingent, including Engineer troops are busily engaged in putting up temporary shelters for the victims after restoring pipe-borne water systems in some affected areas, mainly due to prevailing acute shortage of drinking water.
The Sri Lankan contingent, despite chilly inclement weather, has been restricted to a few tents on the banks of a river in the mountainous area as some of the tents, meant for their own use also, had to be given away to the most needed victims, including kids and old folk and for conduct of necessary first aid practices and medical consultations.
Brigadier Jagath Gunawardene of Sri Lanka Engineers in the Sri Lankan contingent works as the Second-in-Command.