Family of Alta. couple missing in Nepal take search online
The family of a couple missing since the earthquake in Nepal is so frustrated with the Canadian government's response to find their loved ones that they have taken matters into their own hands.
Louise Bentley's brother Bruce Macmillan and his wife Kathy were hiking in Nepal's Langtang National Park when the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the area Saturday. The quake, the worst the country has seen in more than 80 years, killed more than 5,000 people.
Speaking to CTV’s Canada AM Wednesday, Bentley said they haven't heard from the couple since April 20, when they called their son to say they were on a bus headed for a seven-day hike. Following their trek across Langtang National Park, they were supposed to meet up with their sons in Kathmandu on Monday to embark on a family hike.
Aside from a call from the Canadian consulate in Kathmandu to check on the couple’s status, Bentley says the family hasn't heard much from the government. And it's making them uneasy.
“I wish I knew what it was that the Canadian government was doing because I think I would feel much more relieved. I'm sure they're doing lots but I just don't know what it is," said Bentley.
Frustrated, the family has taken to the web and social media to find the Macmillans.
"Jay, their oldest son, is coordinating it out of New Delhi. We have a huge Facebook presence. We are working with all sorts of other families who are also looking for other families in the Langtang area," said Bentley.
On Tuesday night, the family created a database with GPS points tracking where they think large groups of survivors may be located in the Langtang area. They've now shared that information with the Canadian Forces' Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Nepal.
While they have information on larger groups, Bentley said the database has little information on the location of smaller groups or individuals like the Macmillans.
Now that the family has shared what they know with the government, Bentley says she is hoping the government will do the same with them.
"We're putting together these lists. Maybe they're doing that too. But they don't tell us that," said Bentley. "It would be helpful if we knew what they were doing. Then they might not be quite so much frustration."
Canadian officials say a military plane carrying Canadian Forces DART members landed in Kathmandu Wednesday. The plane is also scheduled to fly up to 100 Canadian passengers to New Delhi. A second C-17 aircraft has left Canada carrying more equipment and people, and is expected to arrive in Nepal on Thursday.
With files from The Canadian Press