Nepal on Friday announced the departure of all foreign military personnel involved in relief efforts in the Himalayan nation, six weeks after the first of two earthquakes ripped through the country.
The twin quakes killed more than 8,700 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and forced thousands to camp out in the open just weeks ahead of the monsoon rains.
Relief teams from 18 nations, including India, China and the United States, have been working to provide water, food, shelter and medical assistance to the country since a 7.8-magnitude quake struck on April 25.
“The international military missions that were in Nepal to handle the post-quake situation have returned back to their respective countries,” the army said in a statement.
“The international military support was very helpful for rescuing people alive from the debris, pulling out dead bodies, treating injured, delivering relief materials.” More than 4,000 military personnel arrived in Nepal following the April 25 quake.
A second major earthquake caused further damage on May 12, the same day that a UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed on an aid mission in the country’s mountainous north, killing six US Marines and two Nepalese soldiers.