”We were planning to stop in Baku to refuel. But the flight will not continue today. The airport in Kathmandu is simply full, ” Jim Olav Hansen, the rescue mission's representative in Norway, told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper. ”From our point of view, it is sad. For every hour that passes, the hope of finding survivors diminishes.”
The Norsar team took off from Oslo’s Gardemoen airport on Monday morning and hoped to arrive in Nepal by the evening. The team compromises of six rescue dogs, rescue experts from the Oslo fire service, and doctors and nurses from Oslo University Hospital.
A massive 7.8- magnitude quake hit Nepal on Saturday killing at least 4,000 people.
The Nepalese rescue services are overwhelmed, leading the country's government to ask for international assistance to cope with the devastating situation, and deliveries of basic goods such as water, food, and blankets for those who are left homeless or are sleeping outside for fear of aftershocks.
"We don't have the helicopters that we need or the expertise to rescue the people trapped," the Nepalese government's Chief Secretary, Lila Mani Poudya, told the BBC.
The Norwegian team is not the only international rescue team caught out by the lack of space at Kathmandu airport.
According to a tweet from Flight Radar 24, more than 15 international teams are waiting for their turn to land.