Fate of 255 persons still unaccounted for
Kathmandu, April 23
A year after the devastating earthquake struck Nepal killing more than 9,000 people and injuring at least 23,000, the fate of 255 persons is still unaccounted for.
According to Nepal Disaster Risk Reduction Portal, the fate of 141 Nepalis, including 21 women and 111 foreigners is yet to be known. Most of the missing Nepalis were last seen and contacted in Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Nuwakot and Kathmandu.
Search and rescue operation is still in progress to find their whereabouts. Nepal Police has set up a Missing Persons Desk at the central level to collect information so as to facilitate the search.
Name, age, sex, physical description and distinguishing features of some of the missing Nepalis and the clothes and jewellery they were wearing at the time of disaster have been provided in the ‘List of Missing Persons’ published on the official website of Nepal Police for information that could lead to their whereabouts.
In the case of missing foreigners, 35 of them are females.
Nepal Police is working in tandem with the Interpol Headquarters, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Nepal-based foreign diplomatic missions and all police units across the country to collect details of missing persons, he said, adding that the chances of finding missing foreigners alive or dead could not be ruled out.
Officials claimed they were taking all possible measures, including administrative steps and public appeals, to collect information on the persons reported missing. For this, they are in constant touch with the Department of Immigration, hospitals, hotels and international borders as well.
The foreigners reported missing after the quake are from the USA, Belgium, Canada, China, Lebanon, Chile, France, Bangladesh, United Kingdom, India, Lebanon, Indonesia, Russia, Germany, Spain, New Zeland, Australia, Poland, South Africa, Israel, Denmark, Japan, Italy, Malaysia and Austria.
They were last seen in Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa, Manaslu region, Everest Base Camp and Kathmandu.
The details about missing persons provided by their respective kin through Interpol Headquarters have been deemed authentic after the first and last names provided to Nepal Police from one source or another made it more difficult for officials to verify their identities and nationalities.
Some of the families that lodged ‘missing report’ with the police do not communicate with the law enforcement agency after the missing persons come in contact or are found, according to police. Therefore, all the missing persons might not have been really unaccounted for.