AUGUSTA — The family of an Augusta woman who was hiking in Nepal when a deadly earthquake struck has not yet been able to reach her but remains hopeful she’s safe.

Dawn Habash, 57, a yoga instructor from Augusta, last communicated with her family on April 17 as she was setting out on an eight- to 10-day trek in the Langtang area, which includes Langtang National Park, north of the capital Kathmandu.

Habash’s family, many of whom also live in central Maine, are staying optimistic in the face of numerous aftershocks and a death toll that has climbed past 4,000 people.

“We’re waiting patiently and holding out with positivity that it’s just a lack of communications, of electricity, barring us from reaching her,” said Habash’s daughter, Yasmine Habash, who lives in Alaska and was traveling to Maine on Monday to be with her family. “We’re trying to stay positive. We’re anticipating hearing from her every day.”

Media reports say the quakes appeared to have wiped out nearly the entire village of Langtang and its 600 residents, as well as other villages in that area.

“We’re presuming there was a lot of infrastructure damage, which knocked out the ability of people to move,” Yasmine Habash said. “Our family is hoping that is the reason we haven’t heard from her.”

Dawn Habash, an experienced world traveler on her fourth trip to the impoverished-but-beautiful mountain nation, was hiking alone, not with a tour company.

Yasmine’s brother, Khaled Habash of Portland, has contacted the American Red Cross and the U.S. Embassy and posted on a Facebook page established to help find people who are missing since the quake struck Saturday. His Facebook post says, “She is thought to be by herself, but we are hoping she had met up with some other trekkers to follow. We are very worried about her and fear she may be hurt and needing assistance. She has trouble with her knees from time to time.”

He said his mom stays in touch via an iPad because cellphone service, even normally, is unreliable in much of Nepal.

Throughout Monday, friends posted positive thoughts on Dawn Habash’s Facebook page, saying they are “anxiously awaiting a message from you” and calling her “a very strong person and a survivor.”

Avalanches and landslides triggered by the earthquake knocked out roads and communications, so it’s possible Dawn Habash is safe but unable to reach anyone at home.

Habash, who grew up in Gardiner, teaches yoga in the Augusta area, both in her home-based studio, Soul Exposed Yoga, and at other locations.

Her trip to Nepal is part of a six-month sabbatical that started with a visit to another favorite destination, India, where Dawn and Yasmine spent five weeks together. When Yasmine returned to Alaska on March 20, her mom flew to Kathmandu to continue her adventure. The trip was to include trekking and meditating. She was expected to fly out of Nepal on Wednesday.

Both Yasmine and Khaled have traveled in Nepal with their mom.

“Nepal is a special place to us. It’s amazing,” Yasmine said. “It has a beautiful tranquility and peace to it, and the people. The nature of the people there is so amazing, it keeps taking you back there.”

Yasmine said those who wish to help the family and Dawn Habash may send their prayers, good thoughts and positivity. She noted there are numerous ways people can donate to help the people of Nepal recover from the disaster.

“Nepal needs help, so the country and people can recover from the earthquake,” she said.

Keith Edwards can be contacted at 621-5647 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj