28 April 2015: Following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on 25 April, emergency telecoms agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has deployed a team from its International Headquarters and from its Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (ROAP) to the region.
More than 3,500 people are so far known to have died in what has been described as the worst earthquake to hit the area in 80 years, and an estimated 6,500 people injured, according to the National Emergency Operation Centre.
As strong aftershocks continue to strike, makeshift tent cities have sprung up throughout Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, for locals and tourists who either have no home to return to, or are too afraid to do so.
With power supply cut off and terrestrial networks down, it is of vital importance for TSF to be one of the first NGOs on the ground.
The aim of the mission is to quickly offer IsatPhone Pro satellite voice calls to affected populations and provide relief organisations and coordination centres with reliable satellite connections via BGAN, to assess the telecom infrastructure of the area.
Additional TSF teams from the Regional Office for the Americas and the Caribbean (ROAC) in Washington and Vanuatu remain on standby to assist.
Inmarsat supports TSF, the only NGO to specialise in emergency telecommunications, with free airtime and financial aid to restore communications after disasters and coordinate relief efforts by first responders.