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Asia-Pacific

France seeks 670 nationals after Nepal earthquake

media A child injured during ythe Nepal earthquake outside a shelter along with his family on open ground to keep safe in Kathmandu on Sunday 26 April Reuters/Navesh Chitrakar

France was trying to locate some 670 of its nationals in Nepal after Saturday's earthquake, which killed more than 3,200 people. The French government and NGOs were sending emergency aid to the battered country.

The French authorities had located 1,000 French citizens, including six who have been injured, but were still trying to find 669, foreign affairs ministry spokesperson Romain Nadal told France Info radio on Sunday evening.

The ministry's crisis centre had received more than 7,000 calls "helping to locate 500 of our compatriots safe and sound", Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement Sunday.

Only 290 French people had registered with the consulate as Nepali residents but there are probably twice that number living there, according to Nadal.

The ministry sent a first team of 11 rescue workers on Sunday evening and hopes to send an airplane carrying aid "as soon as possible", on Monday or Tuesday, he said.

The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) NGO has sent several teams of doctors and other aid workers, its emergency programmes coordinator Lauren Sury said.

It was also planning to send a blow-up hospital, equipped with two operating theatres and 60-80 beds.

Three other French NGOs, Médécins du Monde, Acted and Action contre la Faim, have sent personnel and medical aid.

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