Americans killed in Nepal quake include 2 Californians

Byby Elissa Harrington KGO logo
Monday, April 27, 2015
Americans killed in Nepal quake include 2 Californians
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The State Department has announced that at least four Americans died in the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, including Daniel Fredinburg of San Francisco and Tom Taplin from Santa Monica.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The devastation in Nepal is hitting close to home for some in the Bay Area. Among the thousands dead, including a Google executive from San Francisco.

The State Department has announced that at least four Americans were among those killed, including two men from California. Many more trapped in Nepal are desperate to get home.

PHOTOS: Inside the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake

The Americans killed in Saturday's devastating earthquake in Nepal are 33-year-old Daniel Fredinburg from San Francisco, 61-year-old Tom Taplin from Santa Monica, Vinh B. Truong, and 28-year-old Marisa Girawong. A doctor from New Jersey, Girawong had been living and working in the Everest area for more than a year.

The 7.8 tremor crumbled buildings and triggered a series of avalanches on Mount Everest. Among the dozen or so dead on the mountain include Fredinburg, a Bay Area Google executive who was head of privacy for GoogleX.

READ MORE: How you can help Nepal quake victims

"He lived as boldly as any human being we'll ever know," said Fredinburg's friend, Alex Abelin.

Friends say Fredinburg was an experienced mountain climber. This was his third time scaling Everest.

"We threw him a really big party before he left," said Fredinburg's friend, Max Goldenstein. "Especially with Dan, you just don't assume. You assume he'd be able to get out of this. He'd be able to figure this out."

Fredinburg's sister posted a message on his Instagram page saying he died after suffering a severe head injury in an avalanche. Those close to Fredinburg call him inspirational, an activist out to make a difference and live life to its fullest.

Taplin, also a Californian, was a documentary filmmaker working on a project called "Base Camp," interviewing climbers who stay on the mountain.

VIDEO: Vigil held in SF for Nepal earthquake victims

Meanwhile, an emergency task force from Virginia should arrive in Nepal Monday night to provide aid. Search and rescue teams from California are expected on Tuesday.

A private memorial for Fredinburg took place in San Francisco on Monday. A fundraiser in his memory will help two orphanages in Nepal

In the meantime, Bay Area tech giants have been quick to step up in the wake of the disaster. Facebook's Safety Check and Google's Person Finder aim to help friends and family check on the status of their loved ones. And Apple is making it easy for iTunes users to donate to the American Red Cross.

Click here to find out how you can help the victims in Nepal, and click here for full coverage on the devastating quake.