Nepal Earthquake: Americans Still Unaccounted for Following Disaster

The earthquake struck during high tourism season.

ByABC News
April 29, 2015, 7:25 AM

— -- Numerous Americans remain unaccounted for after Saturday's earthquake in Nepal, U.S. officials told ABC News.

Ambassador Peter W. Bodde told ABC News today it has been hard to pin down an exact number for the missing.

“We get information, or families show concern that someone might be missing,” Bodde said. “We immediately start putting them into our database and look at what information we have.”

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu has received more than 1,000 inquiries about Americans in the country and has accounted for more than 500 of those people, spokeswoman Susan Parker-Burns said today. While that leaves nearly 500 inquiries unresolved, Parker-Burns said the list could contain some erroneous inquiries or duplicate names.

The embassy remains concerned about Americans trapped at higher elevations, Bodde said.

“There’s another trekking area called Langtang, where there’s also people up there that have been reported missing, and we’re in the process of getting them down safely,” Bodde said.

The earthquake struck during high tourism season in Nepal, when an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Americans were believed to have been visiting the country.

A U.S. special operations mountaineering team was heading toward Mount Everest’s base camp today, the embassy said on Twitter.

The death toll from the disaster has topped 5,000, Nepalese authorities said.

ABC News’ Chris Howell contributed to this report.