WATCH ABOVE: Mark Albert reports from Washington — aid workers are finding it difficult to reach those in need.
TORONTO – A Toronto man reported missing in Nepal following a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday has been found alive and safe.
“I can’t describe that we’ve been through,” said Gary Blustein, Casey’s father, in a Skype interview with Global News. “To find out he was OK, it’s just the best feeling ever.”
A Facebook page created to find him announced the good news early Monday.
Casey Blustein, 22, was not heard from since last Thursday after beginning a trek with a guide in the Annapurna area of Nepal.
But his family said he made contact with his mother and father on Monday and was reportedly with Canadian media in a hostel or hotel in Manang.
A statement by Blustein’s family said their son recently graduated from Queen’s University and decided to take an extended backpacker’s trip around the world.
The family said he landed in Nepal a few weeks ago and often communicates regularly through social media.
“During that period, friends and family, have lived vicariously through his fabulous journey, as he communicates where wi-fi is available, usually by the What’s App application,” the statement read.
Latest reports from Nepal indicate at least 3,700 people have died as a result of the disaster and many communities perched on mountainsides are devastated or struggling to cope. Foreign Affairs said 460 Canadians are registered in Nepal.
The Harper government on Sunday dispatched its highly specialized disaster assistance response team to provide medical and humanitarian assistance.
However, Blustein’s father said he is concerned the federal government isn’t doing enough to help search for missing Canadians.
“The Canadian government is thus far doing nothing,” said Gary Blustein in a Facebook post. “They set up a phone number but the few people manning the phones, collection information only, and have absolutely nothing to offer.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson says it will be a few days before the small evaluation team reports back on the scale of the devastation in the capital of Kathmandu.
WATCH: Dramatic video shows Mount Everest avalanche following Nepal earthquake
Blustein had words of advice for families still waiting for word from loved ones.
“Keep the hope up,” said Blustein. “Don’t give up.”
With files from Marianne Dimain