SA family try to locate relatives after Nepal quake

2015-04-26 14:16

Johannesburg - A Johannesburg family is desperately trying to locate five of its relatives who were trekking to the base camp at Mount Everest when an earthquake ripped through Nepal, setting off an avalanche on the mountain.

"We have no reports of their safety," Serina Rajakan told News24 on Sunday.

Her 52-year-old father, Raymond Rajakan had gone to the mountain with her teenage brother, her cousin and their two uncles who are from Durban.

"They are travelling with the Himalayan Social Journey group," she said.

The family had had no contact with the men for two days.

"The last time we had contact with them was on Thursday night and they said they would be heading to a place without reception. Their traveling itinerary said that on Saturday they would be at Dingboche," she said.

Rajakan said she had contacted one of the officials of the Himalayan Social Journey. She was told the group was fine but she had still been unable to establish their whereabouts.

 A photo of the family taken four days ago with some other members of their tour group. (Photo supplied)

SA high commission in Sri Lanka alerted

News24 tried to contact the Himalayan Social Journey but the group could not immediately be reached for comment. Their Facebook page had no activity since Saturday.

The Rajakan family had since turned to the department of international relations and co-operation (Dirco) which had on Saturday reported that all South Africans in Nepal had been accounted for.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela on Sunday told News24 that since the department had been notified of the missing group, it would inform the country's high commission in Sri Lanka which would contact authorities in Nepal to try and assist in locating them.

"The ones we had been alerted of on Saturday were allocated but we continue to be on the lookout for others," he said, adding that all South Africans with relatives unaccounted for in the quake-hit region should contact the department.

2 200 dead

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma on Sunday relayed his condolences to the Nepal nation.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal and neighbouring countries in the aftermath of the earthquake that has struck the Kathmandu Valley," Zuma said in a statement.

"On behalf of the government and people of South Africa, I send my deepest condolences to the government of Nepal and to everyone affected, particularly to the families and friends of those killed and injured," said Zuma.

While rescue efforts continued in Nepal, media reports stated that around 2 200 people had died.  

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