SA family found in Nepal

2015-04-26 18:20


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Johannesburg - Five South Africans who were unaccounted for in Nepal, after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the region, have since been found, their relatives said on Sunday.

"We spoke to my uncle and brother," Serina Rajakan told News24 on Sunday afternoon.

Rajakan had contacted News24 earlier on Sunday, saying they had heard nothing from her father, brother, cousin and two uncles who were trekking to the Mount Everest base camp on Friday. 

"It seems like they don't understand the severity of the situation," she said.

"They are in Luboche. They felt [the quake], but not too badly," said Rajakan, adding that her 19-year-old brother still wanted to continue with the hike to the base camp.

Media reports stated that around 2 500 people were killed in the quake, while rescue efforts were still continuing.

The Department of International Relations urged all South Africans who could not account for their relatives in the quake-hit region to contact their offices.

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

News24's Jenni Evans reported on Saturday that a group of school girls from Pretoria had been among those who survived the devastating earthquake.

''Earthquake in Nepal. Please keep our travelling World Challenge Team girls in your prayers. We have heard from the one team and expect to hear from the other soon. Will keep you posted,'' read a worried message on the St Mary's Diocesan School for Girls Facebook page.

This was followed by a relieved update which said: ''All teams have been accounted for and are safe."

Cape Town-based Adventure Global, a company which specialises in expeditions, said it had an expedition in the region when the quake and avalanche struck, but had managed to locate its team, led by South African Ronnie Muhl.

When news of the disaster spread, the company posted: ''Hi all, this is from Cape Town. I’m sure you've all heard about the earthquake in Nepal by now.

The best we can do is wait to hear from the team. I’m certain Ronnie will contact us as soon as possible. It could well be that communication is problematic as a result of damage caused by the earthquake. We hope for the best and are thinking of them.''

Their team consisted of Muhl, Donna McTaggart from South Africa, Alyssa Azar from Australia, Anshu Jamsenpa from India and Chhurim Sherpa from Nepal.

McTaggart had hoped to be the fourth South African woman to summit Everest.

An update later said: ''Chelsea from Cape Town again... I have been able to speak to Alyssa Azar's admin in Australia and word is that Ronnie, Alyssa, Donna and the Sherpas who were with them are safe in Gorak Shep.

Dirco spokesperson Clayson Monyela said all South Africans in Nepal had been accounted for and President Jacob Zuma had sent a message of condolences to Nepal.

Read more on:    nepal  |  nepal earthquake  |  natural disasters
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