British backpacker confirmed to have died in Nepal earthquake

Ruth Doherty
British backpacker confirmed to have died in Nepal earthquake
British backpacker confirmed to have died in Nepal earthquake

A British backpacker missing in Nepal following last month's earthquake has been confirmed as being among the dead, the Foreign Office has said.

The family of Matthew Carapiet paid tribute today to the 23-year-old gap-year student, who "made a huge impression on the lives of everyone he met".

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, triggering avalanches and mudslides and reducing whole villages to rubble when it struck on April 25.

The death toll has passed the 8,000 mark.

Mr Carapiet, an architecture student from Bearsted in Kent, was trekking through Langtang Valley when the earthquake struck.

He was last known to be near Langtang village, a popular trekking destination which was totally engulfed by a devastating avalanche and landslide when the earthquake hit.

According to reports, the village was home to 435 people and 55 hotels and guest houses, but just one house remained following the devastating quake.

In a statement, released through the Foreign Office, Mr Carapiet's family said: "It is with great sadness that we can confirm the death of our son Matthew following the earthquake in Nepal on 25 April.

"Matt was touring Asia in a gap year before planning to continue his architecture studies in the autumn.

"He spoke to us regularly about how much he was enjoying his travels and we know he was doing something that he loved. He had been trekking in Nepal for two weeks before the earthquake.

"Matt is loved by his family and friends who all have countless memories of how kind, happy and caring he was. He made a huge impression on the lives of everyone he met.

"This has been a very difficult time for the whole family, and we now need time to grieve. We would ask for privacy as we come to terms with our loss."

Mr Carapiet's friends had previously described the agonising wait for news.

Speaking earlier this week, Rob Bailey said Mr Carapiet's family was continuing to endure an agonising wait to hear what had happened to him.

He said: "We are waiting for the phone to ring and dreading the phone ringing simultaneously. It is a horrible feeling.

"We are hoping Matt wasn't in the village at that time. The family are holding in but it has not been easy.

"The only option we have got now is to be patient. The work the teams out there are doing isn't easy."

The confirmation of Mr Carapiet's death came as the Government announced that nearly 100 more British Army Gurkhas had arrived in Nepal to help with the relief effort.

It brings the total number of British military personnel sent to the region in the two weeks since the devastating earthquake to around 300.

The 92 Gurkhas from 36 Engineer Regiment, based in Maidstone in Kent, arrived in two groups yesterday and today.

They will focus on providing support to the villages of serving and veteran Gurkhas and their families, the Ministry of Defence said.

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