Nepal earthquake: India evacuates foreign nationals

Injured residents sit inside an India Airforce helicopter as they are evacuated following Saturday"s earthquake in Sindhupalchowk, Nepal, April 28, 201 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Indian air force helicopters have evacuated a number of quake victims

India has helped in evacuating 170 foreign nationals from 15 countries who were trapped by Nepal's earthquake in which more than 5,000 people are now known to have died.

India's government said commercial and air forces planes were used to take out the foreigners from Kathmandu.

The UN estimates that eight million people in 39 districts have been affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake.

More than 10,000 people have been injured.

"Friends in need," Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted, giving details of the foreign nationals evacuated.

The majority of the evacuated foreigners - 71 - are from Spain, which had asked India for help.

Other foreign nationals evacuated include citizens of Poland, the Czech Republic, the US, the UK, Germany and France.

There were an estimated 300,000 foreign tourists in Nepal, several hundred of those on Mount Everest, when the earthquake hit on Saturday.

India's disaster response teams and soldiers have also rescued more than 740 Nepalese nationals and its air force helicopters have evacuated 19 mountaineers from Lukla, the foreign ministry said.

India lost no time in sending aircraft to Kathmandu carrying disaster response forces, medical teams, food, medicines and rescue equipment following the quake.

Rescuers are still struggling to bring aid to remote Himalayan areas. Heavy rain is worsening the plight of hundreds of thousands of people camped out in the open.