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The after-effects of the earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday are being felt around the world, with people from dozens of countries missing or dead.
Three Americans were among those who were killed in an avalanche on Mt. Everest: Marisa Eve Girawong, a physician’s assistant from New Jersey, Google executive Dan Fredinburg, and Thomas E. Taplin.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Taplin was a 61-year-old documentary filmmaker from Southern California and a devoted mountaineer who authored the 1992 book, “Aconcagua: The Stone Sentinel,” about an expedition to scale South America’s tallest mountain. When the earthquake struck, he had been on Everest working on a documentary film about the ascent.
A young Argentinian couple, Camila Lavalle and Ezequiel Ratti, are among those who remain missing in Nepal.
Lavalle, 28, and Ratti, 31, had been backpacking through Asia for the last four months, according to Argentina’s La Nación.
The couple told friends and family via the web and social media that they were in Nepal's capital city, Kathmandu, and intended to hike into Langtang National Park with a Nepalese guide who was going to put them up in a small village where they could “eat and live a little the life of the locals.”
Ratti spoke to his sister, Maru, on Friday morning Nepal time and told her they were about to set out on the hike. They haven’t been heard from since.
Lavalle and Ratti wrote a blog about their adventures called “Comiendo el Mundo” (“Eating the World”), and their last post was dated April 3, 2015, from the Indian city of Varanasi. The post talks extensively about that city’s funeral pyres on the Ganges River and a puja celebration that the couple witnessed, writing, “For a few minutes, the people forget about death and are happy to be alive.”
A Colombian-American Boston-area pediatric doctor, Carol Piñeda Rubiano, 37, and her lawyer husband, Michael McDonald, 38, were missing until late Sunday night. They had been hiking to the Everest base camp at the time of the earthquake and were feared dead until the trekking company that they hired contacted McDonald’s mother, Marie.
“I don’t know any details but that they’re alive and safe,” she reported to the Boston Globe. “That’s good enough.”
A similarly tense day and a half was experienced by the family of Eduardo Chenandoa Ramírez Santiso from the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico.
The country’s Foreign Ministry contacted his family, Ramírez Santiso’s brother Itzel told the Nacional newspaper on Sunday, to tell them that he was the only one of 30 Mexicans living or traveling in Nepal who remained missing.
Early Monday morning, however, his cousin, Claudia Zapata Santiso, told El Universal that Ramírez Santiso had been found, holed up in a Buddhist monastery.
“We spoke to him,” she said. “He told us he’s fine, apart from a slight head cold.”
Communications systems are down in much of the country, and the death count is certain to rise when remote villages like the one that Lavalle and Ratti were headed for begin to be restored.
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