A helicopter from U.S. Marines Camp Pendleton was on a rescue mission following the massive and deadly Nepal earthquakes when it lost contact Tuesday. Search efforts continue in hopes the six U.S. Marines and two Nepalese soldiers aboard the UH-1Y Huey are simply unable to communicate in the mountainous region.
Early that morning, a massive and deadly 7.3 magnitude aftershock followed the 7.8 quake that hit the region April 25.
The group was delivering relief supplies, including rice and tarps, and was evacuating casualties, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
The Americans flew the chopper to drop relief supplies at one location before heading on to a second, when they fell out of communication. The Associated Press relayed a report that an Indian aircraft had heard radio chatter from the Marine helicopter concerning a possible fuel problem.
Officials are hopeful the Huey has just landed, and is out of communication due to the mountainous terrain. There are no signs of a crash. The search is ongoing with a joint effort between U.S. and Nepalese military.
Reports that the helicopter has been sighted are false, according to officials quoted in the Orange County Register.
At least 65 are reported dead in the most recent quake as of Wednesday morning, the Weather Channel reports. The USGS is warning there could be more aftershocks yet to come in the months ahead. One USGS research geophysicist told the Weather Channel that he expects possibly six months to a year of aftershocks.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana