A group of hikers from Vietnam has emailed home asking to be rescued after being stuck for days on a Nepal mountain due to the massive earthquake, proving false a claim by Vietnam’s embassy in India that they are safe.
The five hikers have messaged their families to say they are stuck at more than 3,400 meters (more than two miles) high in Namche in the country’s northeast.
“We are exhausted after struggling to go down the mountain after the quake,” one of them wrote.
The Foreign Ministry had earlier cited the embassy in India as saying that the five of them, all aged between 24 and 36, were scheduled to board a helicopter Monday afternoon to fly to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu and to New Delhi as soon as possible.
But Nguyen Vu Can, father of one of the hikers, 24-year-old Nguyen Dinh Tan Vu, told Thanh Nien Tuesday that he and the others were still stuck on the mountain and worn out after days of walking.
“I’m very worried hearing that from my son,” said Can, a senior reporter who is in close contact with the embassy in India. Vietnam does not have an embassy in Nepal.
Doan Thi Diem Chi, another member, messaged her family to say, “The path down the mountain is very dangerous, almost obliterated.”
30-year-old Chi said the hikers had called the Vietnamese embassy and AIG, their tour insurer, asking for help to come down.
“But we have not received any help. We’ve stopped moving for now.”
Thanh Nien tried to call Chi but could not get through.
Nguyen Nu Phuong Hanh, Chi’s cousin in Vietnam, said the group left for Nepal on April 18 and was scheduled to return this Friday (May 1).
They had hiked with three others from Hong Kong and two local porters, but have since separated from the Hong Kong group and one of the porters.
Hanh said the embassy’s notice they were safe could prompt rescuers to stop looking for them.
“But the truth is they are still in danger.”
The 7.8-magnitude quake struck Nepal last Saturday (April 25), spreading horror from Kathmandu to villages and the slopes of Mount Everest.
Makeshift shelters for earthquake victims are seen on an open ground in Kathmandu, Nepal April 29, 2015. Photo: Reuters/Adnan Abidi
The death toll has kept rising, surpassing 4,700 on Tuesday, Reuters reported Wednesday quoting the Nepal's home ministry. Many of those killed and injured were children, and around one million others are in need of urgent help.
Around 100 were also reported dead in India and China.
The Vietnamese embassy said Monday that at least 18 Vietnamese people in Nepal are safe.
Beside the five hikers, it said, six others were in military barracks in Kathmandu and scheduled to head for New Delhi with the help of the Indian embassy in the Nepalese capital.
A Buddhist monk, two nuns, and four tourists are also safe, it said.
It is awaiting information about seven other tourists and a couple who moved to live in Kathmandu two years ago.
Another group of 10 people from the Vietnam Red Cross, who went to Nepal for an earthquake study mission, has flown back to Hanoi safely on Tuesday.
For inquiries about Vietnamese in Nepal, call the Foreign Ministry’s hotlines at +84-981848484 and +84-462844844 or the Vietnamese embassy in India at +91-1126879852.