Soldiers from the Nepalese army clear debris from a collapsed house while searching for victims in Kathmandu.Dozens of Australians remain listed as missing in earthquake-ravaged Nepal, as desperate families scour social media for any news of their loved ones.
So far, 1250 Australians have been accounted for in Nepal, but a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade refused to say how many remain missing, citing privacy concerns.
And the lack of information is only increasing families’ fears for their loved ones.
Tasmanian man Julien Tempone, 24, remains stranded in a remote village with his travelling companion, 24-year-old Canadian Tamara McLeod.
Ms McLeod managed to call her sister, Michelle Dack, who said the pair were trapped in Briddhim, in Langtang National Park near Kathmandu.
A frantic Ms Dack told Fairfax Media a handful of tourists were stranded in the village, with buildings levelled and all road access to the village completely obstructed.
The pair and two tourists from Holland had some rice and water, but were begging for a helicopter to rescue them, Ms Dack said.
“On our side it’s been so, so frustrating. We’re not getting any response at all; it’s been a run around.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop told the ABC on Tuesday night that of the 1250 Australians who had been accounted for, only 549 had registered their travel with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
She said she believed that “most” Australians in the area had been found.
But the challenge will now be bringing them home.
The International Committee of the Red Cross has set up a website where family members can register names of missing relatives, and those listed as missing can let their families know they are safe.
Dozens of Australians remain listed on that page.
A Facebook group, called Langtang Missing/Found People, shows how social media is helping to fill the information vacuum surrounding the disaster.
A woman who was evacuated by helicopter from Langtang, a remote area of Nepal near the Tibetan border, had asked those also isolated in the village to write down their names in a notebook before she left.
Photographs of those names, separated into nationalities, were then posted on Facebook. It was often the first time family and friends knew that their missing loved ones were alive.
“THAT’S MY GIRLS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” responded a family member of Australian woman Athena Zelandonii, who had been reported missing.
Australian artist Sarah Jane Pell, who doing an art project on Mount Everest, took to Facebook on Tuesday to reassure her followers that she was safe and that she was planning on flying out of the country, after a similar message posted on Twitter on Saturday.
With Megan Levy, Craig Butt