India today said it would try its best to “wipe the tears” of the people of Nepal and do all it can to help them tide over the crisis following the devastating earthquake.

“My dear brothers and sisters of Nepal, India is with you in this hour of grief. …. For 125 crore Indians, Nepal is their own. India will do its best to wipe the tears of every Nepali, hold their hands and stand with them,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

Sharing his pain over a series of natural calamities hitting the region in the recent past including Saturday’s quake in Nepal, Modi said he was anguished and did not feel like going ahead with his radio address today.

“When I spoke to you last month, hailstorms and unseasonal rains had occurred, devastating the farmers. A few days ago, a storm hit Bihar killing many people and causing a lot of damage. And now on Saturday, this devastating earthquake has shaken the whole world.

“It seems a series of natural disasters has begun. The quake has also killed many people in different states of India. Property has also been damaged. But the destruction and damage in Nepal is massive,” he said, adding he could feel the pain of the people of Nepal as he had himself seen the January 2001 earthquake devastation in the Kutchh region of Gujarat from close quarters.

Noting that the immediate priority was to rescue as many people as possible who are trapped under debris, Modi said the relief and rehabilitation work after the rescue operations will go on for a long time.

“There could still be people alive under the debris and they have to be rescued. We have sent teams of experts. Along with them, we have also sent sniffer dogs specially trained to sniff out those alive from under the rubble. Our focus will be to rescue as many people alive as possible,” the Prime Minister said.