JULIE BISHOP Good morning to The Grill Team.

JOURNALIST Thank you Julie. Now we are reading hundreds of Australians still missing, the ones that are registered with the Government anyway. Have you got any update for us?

JULIE BISHOP Yes I do. There were 549 Australians registered on our Smartraveller website but we have been able to confirm the welfare of more than 830 Australians in the country. Our Embassy is providing consular assistance to a number of Australians. We are seeking to confirm the welfare of all Australians in affected areas including those registered with Smartraveller. We have activated our 24/7 emergency call unit which has taken over 1250 calls from family and friends of missing Australians and we have deployed a Crisis Response Team to Nepal to assist in establishing the welfare of Australians unaccounted for after the earthquake and will also assist with humanitarian assessments for the Nepalese Government and international efforts in response to the earthquake.

Now I am aware that the latest advice from the Nepalese Government puts the death toll at over 1900 and that figure is likely to rise. So we express our deepest condolences to all of those affected by the earthquake in Nepal including the families of those who died in Nepal and India and Bangladesh.

JOURNALIST Minister, some of the vision, some of the photos and the vision coming out of Kathmandu is absolutely horrendous. They are warning us that the death toll could reach even higher than 10,000.

JULIE BISHOP It is hard to put a figure on it. As I say we can only speak about what has been confirmed and the latest advice from the Nepalese Government puts the death toll at over 1900. There is of course media speculation. I am aware of one media report that an Australian had died on Mount Everest and our Embassy in Kathmandu is urgently seeking to confirm that report so my advice to family and friends who are concerned about their loved ones in Nepal - first they should attempt to contact them directly and if they are unable to contact them and still hold concerns for their welfare they should call our 24-hour consular hotline. Can I give you those numbers?

JOURNALIST Of course.

JULIE BISHOP (02) 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 and that would just be a local call cost, so 1300 555 135.

JOURNALIST Yes we will make sure they go up on our website. It is it’s the worst earthquake to hit Nepal since the 8.1 magnitude in 1934 which killed more than 30,000. This is not good at all and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop thank you so much for spending some time with the Grill Team this morning.

JULIE BISHOP Thank you. Bye then.

Media enquiries

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