Zuma sends condolences to Nepal

2015-04-25 21:14
President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS)

President Jacob Zuma. (GCIS) (GCIS)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma sent a message of condolences to Nepal on Saturday after a massive earthquake killed more than a thousand people there.

''The president issued a message of condolences to the government and people of Nepal following this devastating earthquake which has claimed hundreds and hundreds of lives," said department of international relations and co-operation spokesperson Clayson Monyela.

At the same time, the department was staying in touch with local authorities in case any South Africans needed help.

By early Saturday evening all the South Africans in Nepal had been accounted for, he said.

They had made contact with at least five South African nationals.

Meanwhile, humanitarian relief organisation Gift of the Givers was monitoring the situation there and putting teams on standby to help with rescue and relief efforts if needed.

Chairperson of the national committee of the Mountain Club of SA, Brian Lambourne, said he had not yet received any news of South Africans adversely affected and to his knowledge there were no large expeditions from the country heading up the popular Mount Everest.

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake ripped through large parts of Nepal setting off an avalanche at Mount Everest and its base camp, where climbers and support teams set up camp.

At least 1 400 people are believed to have died as a result of the earthquake.

Concerned families or friends who may be battling to contact a South African in Nepal can contact Dirco on 011 351 1000.

In 1996 Ian Woodall and Cathy O'Dowd made the first ''official'' summit by South Africans and in March 2003, Sibusiso Vilane became the first black African to conquer the mountain.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nepal earthquake

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