This Article is From May 03, 2015

A Week After Earthquake, 1000 Foreigners Missing in Nepal

Posters of missing persons outside a government hostipal in Nepal.

A week after a devastating 7.9-magnitute earthquake struck, Nepal continues to search for survivors through the rubble. Among those missing are over 1,000 foreign nationals.

"EU nationals non-accounted for are 1,000. Of course, it doesn't mean that they are dead. Just that they haven't reported back. We don't know what has happened to them. Some of them may be dead, some of them may just not have reported, but this is the latest figure," said Rensje Teerink, head of the European Union delegation in Nepal.

While the Australian embassy confirmed the death of one of its citizens at the Mount Everest base camp, it has managed to establish contact with 1,500 citizens. Countries like Japan and Israel are also searching for their nationals and have put up posters in hospitals of the missing.

There were an estimated 2,000 Israeli nationals in Nepal on the day the quake hit - of them 200 could not be traced immediately. Now, it's only 22-year-old Assarof who is missing. He was part of a trek group at Langtang but had begun the trek earlier than the other members on that day.

"I spoke to him on Friday night at the guest house. He started the trek before others and travelled alone. His father has come from Israel to look for him," one of the members from his trek group told NDTV.

Many of those missing are suspected to be at the Everest base camp where access has remained an issue despite several rescue missions.

Describing the scenes, Narendra Yadav, a mountaineer who was rescued from the camp said, "All of us were scared. Everybody was eager to leave. Situation was very bad. The route was completely damaged. We didn't get meals at many places."

Every year, Nepal attracts over 10 lakh tourists. Due to its relaxed visa norms, many travellers are not even registered with the embassies of their respective countries, making the task of locating them much harder.