Israel and Israeli-based aid agencies responded quickly to the magnitude-7.8 earthquake that devastated the Himalayan nation of Nepal on Saturday, April 25.Atlanta Jewish Times

The Israel Defense Forces sent an 80-person aid team to Nepal, a 12-hour flight away, by Monday, April 27, and a second team of 170 military personnel soon followed.

“We’re on a mission to achieve three things: deploy major search-and-rescue operations; admit patients to our field hospitals within 12 hours of landing; help the Nepalese people,” said Col. Yoram Larado, who is leading the IDF humanitarian mission.

The death toll in Nepal has topped 4,000.

IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Israel’s field hospital likely will be the first in operation in Nepal. The hospital will include “pediatric, surgical, internal medicine, neonatal, and radiology departments, as well as a maternity ward and an emergency and operating room,” the IDF said in a statement.

The IDF has set up similar field hospitals after disasters in places such as Haiti and the Philippines.

Magen David Adom, the Israeli equivalent to the Red Cross, had a team of eight doctors and paramedics in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, the day after the earthquake to help treat trauma victims and provide care to babies born to Nepalese surrogate mothers hired by Israelis.

The nonprofit organization IsraAID also was sending a team to Nepal.

More than two days after the quake, 50 of about 500 Israelis known to be visiting Nepal were unaccounted for.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta joined with the Jewish Federations of North America to launch a Nepal Relief Fund (bit.ly/1KkFArv); all money raised will go to emergency aid.