Getting help to someone stranded in Nepal
April 27, 2015 4:58 AM   Subscribe

I have two dear college friends that are currently stranded on a trail in the Langtang valley in Nepal. Their group is ok in that they are all alive and, as far as we know, uninjured, but they are starting to run low on food and water. Their families have asked for ideas / suggestions on who they should be contacting to get them help - does MeFi have any suggestions?

Someone in their group has a sat phone that they've used to get word out that they are ok and their lat / long location. I believe they were also traveling with a guide, so for the purpose of this question, let's assume that they've made what calls they can to local help / authorities. On the stateside, the families have contacted the State Dept / US Embassy and are planning on contacting their congressional representatives as well.

Just to be clear, I definitely understand that the situation there is very bad and that if they are uninjured and have some food and water, that puts them in a better position than many other people also awaiting rescue. The question is not how to get them to skip ahead in the line, but rather just make sure that they don't fall off the radar screen.
posted by pallas14 to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Not sure if this is helpful but a quick search for emergency phone numbers in Nepal brought this up:

Have they tried calling the red cross? Or in the interest of saving their sat phone's battery can the family get in touch with the red cross?
posted by eatcake at 7:51 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

To start with, what is stranding them where they are?
posted by craven_morhead at 7:54 AM on April 27, 2015

Response by poster: Craven_morhead, information is spotty, but it sounds like the path is gone and the area is impassable. I don't have any other data about what that actually means.

Other updated information I've just gotten is that the State Department has indicated that they are not conducting any direct rescue missions right now. It's not clear to me why that is, whether it's the US government directive or a decision by the Nepalese.
posted by pallas14 at 8:19 AM on April 27, 2015

Their travel insurance company? Policies vary widely, but worth contacting.
posted by AnnaRat at 9:04 AM on April 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Aren't there tiny villages in the Langtang Valley? Are they at one of those, or are they stuck in two directions?
posted by aniola at 9:07 AM on April 27, 2015

Best answer: If you can memail me all the information you can get your hands on, I can reach out to the Standby Task Force who are routing information to responders in Nepal.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 9:11 AM on April 27, 2015 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: It sounds like they are in a tiny village called Bamboo. Using their coordinates on google maps, it looks like there is (or was) a small cluster of 6-7 buildings.

Emperor, THANK YOU I'm working with the families to compile everything we know and will have something in your memail inbox shortly.
posted by pallas14 at 10:01 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

I just saw this post about conditions in the Langtang Valley. Bamboo is further down the trail than most of the places mentioned in this update, and it sounds like people have been getting out from further up than there, so hopefully there's good news from your friends soon.
posted by nonane at 7:54 AM on April 28, 2015

Response by poster: All, I wanted to follow up and let anyone who has been following this know that my friends were rescued today by helicopter, along with everyone else in the group they were stuck in. They are now safely in the embassy in Kathmandu.

For anyone reading in this in the future for advice on similar situations, here are some of the things that the families did that I think were helpful -
- Repeated communication with the state dept, persistent and repeated requests for assistance
- Requested assistance from multiple senator's offices
- Connected with other friends / families with people stranded in same or nearby locations via Facebook & Twitter
- Communicated with rescue organizations via Facebook & Twitter

Many additional thanks to Emperor SnooKloze, who sent me much information outside of this thread.
posted by pallas14 at 11:46 AM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

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