05/07/2015, 00.00
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Earthquake in Nepal, at least 1,000 foreigners missing

by Christopher Sharma
The authorities do not have reliable data on foreign nationals living in the country at the time of the quake. Out of over 7,700 victims, 57 are foreign. Rasuwa district official: "We can not say how many tourists have died or disappeared. It may take weeks".

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - 13 days after the earthquake that devastated Nepal, there are still no reliable data on foreigners killed or missing. According to the European Union (EU) at least 1,000 citizens of the old continent are missing. Some embassies in Kathmandu are putting up posters and photographs in the various hospitals to facilitate the search. Local trekking associations have estimated the presence of 300 thousand tourists when the earthquake shook the country. So far the tourist office in Nepal has counted 57 dead, 52 injured and 109 missing. On the whole the victims of the earthquake exceed 7,700 people.

Fears are mounting for those who have not yet contacted their families, many of which are conducting campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.

According to the latest reports, the search operations in a village in the valley of Langtang, submerged by a landslide, have unearthed the bodies of nine foreigners. Gautam Rimal, a Rasuwa district official says: "The whole community was swept away by a river of mud. All 60 houses were buried by debris. It will be impossible to recover all the bodies. "

Madrid’s diplomatic mission says eight Spanish citizens still missing. Rensje Teerink, head of the EU delegation in Nepal, says: "According to our estimates, the fate of at least 1,000 Europeans is still uncertain. This is not to say that they are dead, but simply have not yet made contact. "

The Nepalese tourist police reported that at least 550 foreigners were registered in Lantang to climb in the second half of April. Uddhav Bhattarai, Rasuwa district chief (main destination for trekking), said: "We have no exact data and it is impossible to say how many tourists have died or disappeared. It may take weeks. "

According to police, the foreigners killed in the earthquake include 40 Indians, four Americans, three Chinese, three French, two Italians an Australian, an Estonian, a Japanese citizen,  Spainish citizen and one person from Hong Kong.

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