CAIRO – As a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25, leaving thousands dead, several Muslim countries rushed to offer humanitarian assistance to the traumatized country, reports onislam.net.
“I just informed our ministers that Indonesia was ready to help,” Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was quoted by Jakarta Post on Sunday, April 26.
Indonesia is among several Muslim countries that are offering help to Nepal as the death toll of the quake climbed to more than 3,000 people.
On Sunday, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake aftershock struck India and Nepal, triggering avalanches in the Himalayas.
Saturday’s quake has forced tens of thousands of Nepalese out of their homes and into make-shift camps, while rescue officers continue to search for survivors.
“There were at least three big quakes at night and early morning. How can we feel safe? This is never-ending and everyone is scared and worried,” said Kathmandu resident Sundar Sah.
“I hardly got any sleep. I was waking up every few hours and glad that I was alive.”
Responding to Nepal’s worst disaster in decades, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) sent four C-130 aircraft carrying a 30-bed field hospital.
The aircraft also delivered army doctors and specialists; urban search-and-rescue teams equipped with radars and sniffer dogs; food items, including 2,000 meals, 200 tents and 600 blankets.
On its part, Malaysia said that it will send 30 members from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART), and 20 doctors from volunteer relief organizations with the necessary equipment to Nepal.
“The doctors and SMART members, as well as medicines and medical supplies will be sent to Nepal on board a Royal Malaysian Air Force C130 aircraft,” Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told the Rakyat Post.
Turkey and Emirates Too
Joining Muslim efforts to help Nepalese affected by the quake, the Turkish government sent a team of at least 40 search and rescue experts.
Other Turkish search and rescue teams will be sent by The Turkish Health Ministry, the Turkish Red Crescent, Team GEA Search and Rescue, and the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation.
Moreover, at least 1,000 blankets and 320 food boxes were also sent by the Turkish Red Crescent in support of rescue efforts.
Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates sent a rescue team of 88 professionals, including officers and rescuers, with equipment and tools necessary for the search and rescue operations.
The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) will also join hands to deliver urgent humanitarian assistance to the people affected by the earthquake.
On their part, several Muslim scholars expressed condolences to the Nepalese victims.
“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. 20 heartbreaking photos from the #NepalEarthquake,” Muslim scholar, Omar Suleiman posted on Twitter.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Muslims constitute 4.2 percent of Nepal’s 28-million population.
Nepal was the world’s only Hindu state till 2006 when its parliament amended the constitution and declared it a secular state.
Most of Nepal’s Muslims live in the southern plains on the borders with India.