KATHMANDU (AFP) - Police have found more than 50 bodies, including those of six foreigners, in Nepal's popular Langtang trekking region following last weekend's devastating earthquake, a senior local official said Sunday.
Another 100 foreign tourists are still feared to be missing in Langtang in the wake of the 7.8-magnitude-quake that struck on April 25 and claimed more than 7,000 lives.
Uddav Prasad Bhattarai, chief officer of Rasuwa district that forms part of Langtang, said the bodies had been found in different places, including buried under debris, in recent days in the region hit by a quake-triggered avalanche.
"We have pulled out 51 bodies from the Langtang area so far, six of them are tourists. We estimate that about 100 foreigners might still be missing in the area," Bhattarai said.
"Our priority was to get the survivors out. We rescued over 350 people, about a half of them were tourists or guides," he told AFP in Rasuwa north of Kathmandu "We believe we have rescued most of the survivors now. We will now bring down the dead bodies." The 7.8-magnitude quake wreaked a trail of death and destruction when it erupted around midday eight days ago, reducing much of Kathmandu to rubble.
It also triggered a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest that killed 18 people including foreign climbers.
Tourism department chief Tulsi Gautam said Sunday that so far the bodies of 54 foreigners have been recovered nationwide.
European Union diplomats said on Friday that around 1,000 European citizens were still unaccounted for in Nepal, although many of those were thought to be safe but out of contact.