The first group of Spaniards to fly home from Nepal after Saturday’s devastating earthquake landed at the Torrejón airbase outside Madrid on Wednesday morning.
Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo was on board the military aircraft, along with 44 people who were caught up in the powerful 7.8-magnitude quake that rocked the Asian country at the weekend.
127 Spaniards are being evacuated from Kathmandu, while 23 chose to leave without Spain’s assistance
Another 71 Spaniards are scheduled to board a plane in Kathmandu on Wednesday to begin their journey home, with a stop in New Delhi.
A total of 127 Spaniards are being evacuated from the Nepalese capital, while another 23 chose to leave without Spanish government assistance.
The first group to arrive in Spain was greeted by family members at the airbase. Some boarded two buses en route to downtown Madrid and Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport.
Margallo was in New Delhi at the time of the earthquake on an official three-day visit to India, and decided to postpone his return to help with the evacuation.
The minister thanked the “preferential treatment” given to Spain and expressed gratitude to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Margallo explained that there were still 103 Spaniards left to locate in Nepal, adding that he hoped they would slowly make their way to Kathmandu.
“I hope we will not have to deal with any tragedies,” he said.
The Spanish embassy has sent in a new team to try to find the missing Spaniards and organize their evacuation as they trickle into the capital.