Hundreds of American citizens remain in Nepal, with many of them sheltering in compounds and others trying to leave amid fear and frenzy in the earthquake-ravaged country. The death toll from the 7.8-magnitude earthquake and aftershocks rose above 4,000 today, according to officials. Many streets in Kathmandu were impassable, filled not only with rubble but with the injured and with people unwilling to go into any building, fearing the effects of another aftershock.
Ineke Stoneham, press and information officer with the public affairs section for the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu, said hundreds of inquiries — from Kathmandu and through the Washington consular call center — have been made regarding the welfare and whereabouts of American citizens. About 3,000 American citizens reside in Nepal, and 3,000 to 4,000 Americans usually visit Nepal during the current peak tourism season, Stoneham said. About 75 American citizens are sheltering in the embassy, while about 150 others are sheltering at the Phora Durbar compound, Stoneham said. MORE