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U.S. Sends Personnel, Funds to Aid in Nepal Relief Effort

Updated: Apr 27, 2015 3:38 PM ET

The U.S. government is sending troops and aid to Nepal as the nation struggles to recover from a massive earthquake that killed thousands.

As the days go by and death tolls tick up, the need is only expected to grow. As of Monday, officials say 4,000 were killed in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near the capital of Kathmandu on Saturday. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency and the international community has joined in the response effort.

A spokesperson for the Nepalese army told the Associated Press that 90 percent of its 100,000 troops are involved in search-and-rescue efforts and assisting the more than 7,000 people injured in the quakes. "We don't have the helicopters that we need or the expertise to rescue the people trapped," said Lila Mani Poudyal, the Nepalese government's Chief Secretary, who noted a demand for "tents, dry goods, blankets, mattresses and 80 different medicines."

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a statement of condolences Saturday and announced that the U.S. would be joining in the effort to help Nepal recover.

See India's Rescue Operations in Quake-Devastated Nepal

Indian soldiers, left, on a rescue mission to Nepal rush to board an Indian Air Force aircraft near New Delhi on April 26, 2015.
VIEW GALLERY | 12 PHOTOS
Indian soldiers, left, on a rescue mission to Nepal rush to board an Indian Air Force aircraft near New Delhi on April 26, 2015.Altaf Qadri—AP
Indian soldiers, left, on a rescue mission to Nepal rush to board an Indian Air Force aircraft near New Delhi on April 26, 2015.
Plastic containers with drinking water are loaded into an Indian Air Force aircraft headed to Nepal, at a base near New Delhi on April 26, 2015.
The shadow of an Indian Air Force aircraft carrying relief material is cast on clouds as it approaches landing in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese volunteers unload relief material, brought by an Indian Air Force helicopter for victims of Saturday's earthquake at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese soldiers unload relief material brought in an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturdayís earthquake at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese villagers watch as relief material is brought in an Indian air force helicopter for victims of Saturdayís earthquake at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese villagers injured in Saturdayís earthquake await evacuation at Trishuli Bazar in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese soldiers carry a wounded man on a makeshift stretcher to an Indian Air Force helicopter as they evacuate victims of Saturday's earthquake from Trishuli Bazar to Kathmandu airport in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
Nepalese victims of Saturday's earthquake lie inside an Indian air force helicopter as they are evacuated from Trishuli Bazar to Kathmandu airport in Nepal on April 27, 2015.
An Indian Air Force person walks carrying a Nepalese child, wounded in Saturday's earthquake, to a waiting ambulance as the mother rushes to join after they were evacuated from a remote area at the airport in Kathmandu on April 27, 2015.
Victims of Saturday's earthquake wait for ambulances to take them to hospitals after being evacuated at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 27, 2015.
A man sits with a child on his lap as victims of Saturday's earthquake wait for ambulances after being evacuated at the airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 27, 2015.
Indian soldiers, left, on a rescue mission to Nepal rush to board an Indian Air Force aircraft near New Delhi on April 2
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Altaf Qadri—AP
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“To the people in Nepal and the region affected by this tragedy we send our heartfelt sympathies. The United States stands with you during this difficult time,” Kerry’s statement reads.

About 70 American personnel and 45 square tons of supplies are expected to reach Nepal on Monday, according to the Department of Defense. The bulk of those traveling to the country are members of the U.S. Agency for International Development Disaster Assistance Response Team including humanitarians and rescue workers from Fairfax County.

Secretary of State John Kerry also announced Monday the U.S. government is sending an additional $9 million to aid in the relief effort, bringing the total funds sent thus far to $10 million.

“The images that everybody has seen are gut-wrenching. Extraordinary devastation, young children carried away in ambulances, whole villages reduced to rubble,” Kerry said Monday during a joint-press conference with his Japanese counterparts. “We are working very closely with the government of Nepal to provide assistance and support.”

Read next: See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

See Photos From a Survivor of the Mount Everest Avalanche

A cloud of snow and debris triggered by an earthquake flies towards Everest Base Camp, moments before parts of the camp were flattened, in the Himalayas, Nepal, on April 25, 2015.
VIEW GALLERY | 10 PHOTOS
A cloud of snow and debris triggered by an earthquake flies towards Everest Base Camp, moments before parts of the camp were flattened, in the Himalayas, Nepal, on April 25, 2015.Roberto Schmidt—AFP/Getty Images
A cloud of snow and debris triggered by an earthquake flies towards Everest Base Camp, moments before parts of the camp were flattened, in the Himalayas, Nepal, on April 25, 2015.
The avalanche, triggered by an earthquake outside Kathmandu, Nepal, flattened parts of Everest Base Camp on April, 25, 2015.
Rescuers help a porter onto a makeshift stretcher after he was injured by the avalanche on Mount Everest, triggered by an earthquake outside Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mount Everest Avalanche Photos
Mount Everest Avalanche Photos
Mount Everest Avalanche Photos
Mount Everest Avalanche Photos
A person injured in Saturday's avalanche is carried by rescue members to be airlifted by a rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015.
An injured person is loaded onto a rescue helicopter at Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015.
Prayer flags frame a rescue helicopter as it ferries the injured from Everest Base Camp on April 26, 2015, one day after an avalanche triggered by an earthquake outside Kathmandu, Nepal.
A cloud of snow and debris triggered by an earthquake flies towards Everest Base Camp, moments before parts of the camp
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Roberto Schmidt—AFP/Getty Images
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