NEW DELHI: Amid the increasing death toll in earthquake-hit Nepal, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday addressed the issue in Parliament and said that India responded immediately after a massive earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday. He asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ‘knew about the incident before me and took quick action.”

“I was with PM Modi just five minutes before the earthquake and he informed me about the disaster. The quick response that should have immediately come from me actually came from the PM,” Singh in his statement over the calamity in Lok Sabha said.

The Saturday earthquake along with several aftershocks has killed at least 3, 600 and numerous others injured.

Centre has decided to permit visas on priority to people who are to be evacuated from Nepal, Singh informed. 

The Home Minister further informed that Modi has spoke to several state Chief Ministers soon after the earthquake. “We have decided that states bordering Nepal should send buses to get Indians back,” he said adding that people in both Nepal and India affected will be given help by our government.”

Singh also told the Lok Sabha that the National Disaster Response Force teams have already been sent to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar where over 65 people have been killed after a building collapsed due to the earthquake.

While the Indian Air Force has already evacuated more than 1,900 citizens from Nepal in about a dozen sorties, many sorties have been planned for today; aftershock and poor weather had hampered some flights.

A team of Indian officials from various ministries are in Nepal to coordinate relief and rescue operations.

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