Four of the 12 children trapped in a cave in Thailand for 15 days were evacuated safely.
The diving operations were completed today, said the official. A plan for tomorrow will be defined in the next few hours, he added.
The official website of the SEALs of the Thai Navy also confirmed that there were four children who left the cave.
Previously, a member of the rescue team had said that there were three minors evacuated.
The governor of Chiang Rai, Narongsak Osotthanakorn, did not confirm the identities of the four children evacuated on Sunday. The first of the minors left at 5:40 pm local time, followed by another 10 minutes later. Two other children left at 7:40 pm and 7:50 pm
The governor said that in order to continue with the operation and rescue the rest of the minors, the oxygen tanks must be filled. He said that all oxygen supplies had been used on Sunday.
US President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Twitter that the United States “works very closely with the Government of Thailand to help get all children out of the cave and safely, very brave and talented people!”.
The dangerous mission to evacuate the 12 children and their 25-year-old trainer who are trapped in the depths of a flooded cave in northern Thailand was launched on Sunday, Thai authorities said.
At 10 am local time, an international contingent of 13 specialist divers and five SEAL sailors from Thailand descended into the humid network of underground tunnels under the Mae Sai Mountains, carrying with them the hopes of an entire nation.
“Our preparation is at its best today, today is D-Day,” said Chiang Rai Governor Narongsak Osotthanakorn, adding that the families had been informed of the plan and that they had given their support to the rescue operation.
The plight of the affected children, who have remained trapped in the caves for 15 days, has paralyzed Thailand, as rescue efforts became increasingly urgent.
Rescuers have a window of opportunity to extract children that are shrinking after a heavy rain began shortly after the start of the rescue operation on Sunday, while forecasters predict more monsoon rains in the coming days, which effectively It would seal the cave until October.
“We have two obstacles: water and time, it’s what we’ve been competing against from the first day, we have to do everything we can, even if it’s hard to fight against the force of nature,” Osotthanakorn said as a light rain began to fall. fall in place.
Race against time
At the entrance to the caves, volunteers who collaborate with the operation described the rescue as a “now or never” scenario.
The children and their trainer are squeezed into a small chamber 4 kilometres inside the cave, surrounded by water and with a limited supply of oxygen.
Osotthanakorn described the physical and mental condition of the children as good. “I can assure that they are ready and they are determined and ready to be extracted.”
To reach them, the divers will have to navigate a network of extensive and narrow tunnels that connect the camera in which the children are with the rescue command center, known as Chamber Three.
The divers are expected to guide the children through the tunnels one by one. When they arrive at the command center, the children will be handed over to various rescue teams to accompany them through Chambers One and Two, according to a Thai naval officer with knowledge of the rescue operation.
“Today, the water level in cameras number one, two and three inside the cave is low enough to walk,” said Osotthanakorn.
The rescue teams have been constantly pumping water out of the cave system, in a race against the weather before the return of heavy rains forecast for Sunday.
“The water in some areas recedes up to about 30 centimetres, it is considered the lowest level of the last 10 days.”
Signs that a rescue operation was underway were evident in the hours leading up to the announcement, as authorities installed a large green tent around the entrance to the cave and took the media to a separate location.
On the dirt road that leads to the tunnels, a continuous convoy of trucks and military vehicles transported troops and medical equipment, including a large number of oxygen tanks. On Saturday night, numerous international military advisers were seen entering the site, followed by four monks in orange robes.
At the entrance to the site, a brand-new, freshly coloured white flag fluttered in the wind, a Buddhist symbol indicating positive energy.
Source: CNN Espanol