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ITU Sends Communications Gear to Nepal

The International Telecommunication Union said Monday it has sent emergency communications equipment to Nepal to help in the aftermath of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The ITU said that it had sent "35 satellite mobile phones and 10 satellite Broadband Global Area Network terminals along with solar panels and laptops" to help with the efforts to coordinate relief to Nepal, where the death toll is nearing 4,000, according to the New York Times, and aftershocks continue to hamper those efforts.

“Emergency telecommunications play a critical role in the immediate aftermath of disasters,” said Brahima Sanou, director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, in a statement. “They ensure timely flow of information that is much needed by government agencies and other humanitarian actors involved in rescue operations.”

The ITU pointed out that much of the affected area is in rural and mountainous portions of the country with widely dispersed populations.

Some survivors trapped above the avalanches on Everest have been tweeting and posting on Facebook about their condition and situation, according to reports.