Earthquake in Nepal
After the heavy earthquake last Saturday, 25 April 2015, Nepal is still in a state of emergency. The death toll is constantly rising. According to media reports, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala speaks of 10.000 victims who died due to the earthquake or its aftermath. Many Nepalese citizens lost their homes and depend on the assistance of aid agencies. Some Northern regions of the country are very hard to reach for rescue forces.
Due to the earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale (some media reports speak of 7.8) on last Saturday as well as several aftershocks, the infrastructure of Nepal was severely damaged. Roads are blocked, the telephone network was partly interrupted or overloaded and also the supply of citizens with electricity, water and food is affected.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry advises against journeys to Nepal that are not absolutely necessary. The international airport of the capital city Kathmandu is only partially opened.
Persons who plan a trip to Nepal in the near future are advised to get in touch with the respective tour operator or airline in order to find out whether the trip or flight will be operated as planned. If you don't want to make the journey, you can also ask your contractual partner (tour operator, airline) what options you have and whether cancellation due to extraordinary circumstances is possible.
Furthermore, it is important to carefully follow the media coverage and to keep updated about the situation in Nepal. Regarding media reports as well as the travel information provided by the Foreign Ministry it is advisable to search for information about the specific destination (city, region) and not just for general news with regards to the whole country. In case of a discussion with your tour operator or airline, it can be helpful to be able to present such media reports or travel information by the Ministry. It is therefore recommended to save them on your computer.
The European Consumer Centre Austria (ECC) provides - in cooperation with the Social Ministry - free legal advice regarding "Danger at Destination". Our hotline 01/ 588 77 63 is available from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please find more information about your rights in the following article: Withdrawal due to risk at your holiday destination