May 1, 2015 / 11:50 AM / 4 years ago

One thousand Europeans missing, 12 dead after Nepal quake

Relatives welcome Swiss survivors of Saturday's earthquake in Nepal after their arrival at Bern airport, Switzerland April 30, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - One thousand people from the European Union are missing in Nepal and 12 are confirmed dead, nearly a week after a devastating earthquake, the head of the EU delegation here said on Friday.

“We don’t know where they are, or they could be,” Ambassador Rensje Teerink told reporters, adding that those unaccounted for were mostly tourists in the Langtang and Lukla areas.

Langtang is a trekking region to the north of Kathmandu that has been hit by a huge avalanche and mudslides, while Lukla is the jumping off point for walkers and climbers making the nine-day trek to Everest base camp.

Nepal, struck by a huge earthquake on Saturday that has killed more than 6,000, is a popular destination for trekkers and climbers.

Rescuers have struggled to get to remote areas of the mountainous country popular with climbers to look for survivors, with fighting between tourists and locals marring efforts to airlift hundreds of trekkers to safety.

Diplomats are finding it hard to trace the missing because many backpackers do not register with their embassies when they arrive in the country.

Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Writing by Douglas Busvine and Tommy Wilkes

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