2015年4月26日星期日

Newly-wed British couple describe avalanche on Mount Everest

  • Relatives of Britons missing in Nepal post pictures and descriptions of loved ones in desperate plea for help
  • Entire groups of British climbers are unaccounted for following huge avalanche triggered by devastating earthquake
  • Julia Carroll, 22, is among the missing and phoned her father just hours before tragedy to wish him happy birthday 
  • More than 1,500 people dead after 7.8 magnitude quake reduced swathes of Nepal's capital Kathmandu to rubble

Dozens of British climbers and travellers are feared missing or dead following the devastating earthquake in Nepal that triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest.

Desperate relatives have posted pictures and descriptions of loved ones online in the hope they can be found as the death toll continues to grow, with more than 1,500 people dead.

Many of the Britons who are unaccounted for are thought to have been climbing Everest when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake sparked an avalanche, with entire groups of climbers from the UK not heard from.

Latest estimates suggest as many as 50 British tourists are missing but the true number could be far higher. 

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Sebastian Lovera, 22, from Tonbridge, Kent

Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Unaccounted for: Britons Sebastian Lovera, 22, from Tonbridge, Kent, and Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Missing: Tara Bradshaw, 24, from Brighton, is among the Britons who have not been heard from since the devastating earthquake 

Missing: Tara Bradshaw, 24, from Brighton, is among the Britons who have not been heard from since the devastating earthquake 

Dozens of British climbers and travellers are feared missing or dead following the devastating earthquake in Nepal that triggered a massive avalanche (pictured) on Mount Everest

Dozens of British climbers and travellers are feared missing or dead following the devastating earthquake in Nepal that triggered a massive avalanche (pictured) on Mount Everest

Devastating: At least 18 climbers were killed after the earthquake which buried tents at the base camp of Everest (pictured)

Devastating: At least 18 climbers were killed after the earthquake which buried tents at the base camp of Everest (pictured)

Julia Carroll, a 22-year-old woman from Suffolk, is reported to have phoned her father to wish him a happy birthday just hours before the quake struck early this morning.

Her father, John Carroll, 59, told the Sunday Telegraph that he did not know if she had managed to escape the earthquake when it hit Kathmandu.

He said: 'I spoke to her on the phone on Friday afternoon when she rang home to wish me a happy birthday. We are desperately worried. It’s a tragic situation out there, with so many deaths and so much destruction and we can only hope she is safe and gets in touch.' 

Among those listed as missing on Google Person Finder is Sebastian Lovera, a 22-year-old qualified skiing and diving instructor, from Tonbridge, Kent. His last known location was Khumjung on Tuesday, from where he was heading towards Everest Base Camp.

His step-father, Greg Smye-Rumsby, said: 'Sebastian is an extremely lively and self-motivating person and that is why he went to Nepal.

'We haven't heard from him. He would not have switched his phone off. We have tried ringing it. Sometimes it rings and sometimes we get an answer but it's an automated answer. It says the phone is switched off. He's certainly not a person to take risks. He's the absolute opposite.' 

Britons Julia Carroll (left), 22, from Boxford, Suffolk, and Daniel Mazur (right) are both missing following the earthquake and avalanche

Jay Devine was also listed on Google Person Finder, which allows people to search for information on relatives missing in Nepal

Jay Devine was also listed on Google Person Finder, which allows people to search for information on relatives missing in Nepal

Avalanche: Terrifying avalanche pictured from basecamp on Mount Everest caused by the earthquake today

Avalanche: Terrifying avalanche pictured from basecamp on Mount Everest caused by the earthquake today

The avalanche was caused by a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal and has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people

The avalanche was caused by a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck Nepal and has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people

Another Briton feared missing is Laura Wood, 23, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. She is described by a friend as a 'glowing lovely beautiful young girl often dressed in hippy type clothing'.

Miss Wood, who has a strong northern accent, has been trekking in the Himalayas without any means of making contact. 

Other Britons who have not been seen since the tragedy include Jay Devine, Julia Carroll, Daniel Mazur 

 Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, who was working in a number of orphanages around the country, is also feared to be among those killed.

Tweeting from the mountain, Mr Mazur, from Bristol, wrote: 'A massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone.'

He was able to tweet saying that his group had felt aftershocks from the earthquake but has not been heard from since yesterday.  

Six groups of Britons who booked with travel company Jagged Globe are missing, the firm's director Tom Briggs confirmed.

He said: 'We are still waiting to hear from our teams. The phone lines have been jammed. We have eight teams there at the moment and only two have checked in so far. We have about 70 people out there. They are mostly British people but we also have people from Australia and Ireland. The people travelling had been saving up for a trip of a lifetime for an adventure holiday.

'One team had been travelling between camps at the time, another was trekking on Mera Peak and they were due to go to the summit today. We are hoping they are back in the camp because they climb it at night when the snow is frozen. We are still waiting for news from the Everest teams.

'We are worried, it is still early stages and we are concerned. We believe the avalanches happened up the mountains and we’re hoping our teams are safe.'

A spokeswoman for Intrepid Travel - which arranges treks in Nepal and around the Everest region - confirmed they had groups with British travellers in the area and said they are still attempting to contact those tours.

33-year-old Google executive Dan Fredinburg is among the 18 climbers confirmed killed in the avalanche on Mount Everest

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes

GOOGLE RELAUNCH 'PERSON FINDER' IN DISASTER AFTERMATH

Google have relaunched their 'person finder' tool to help those affected by the earthquake in Nepal.

The tool is a searchable, online database to help people track down their loved ones who are involved in the disaster.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which killed hundreds and destroyed homes, also damaged communications in the region.

Person Finder collates information from emergency responders and individuals who post details about relatives missing or found.

Within hours of the disaster, 200 names had been uploaded.

The tool was first launched in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and has been used in several major disasters ever since including the 2011 Japanese tsunami and 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

The earthquake has also triggered a massive avalanche on Mount Everest killing 18 and injuring at least 30. Several groups of climbers were also said to be trapped at base camp which was severely damaged.

Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that the UK would do all it can to help in the aftermath on the Nepal earthquake.

On Twitter he said: 'Shocking news about the earthquake in Nepal - the UK will do all we can to help those caught up in it.' 

Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, added his condolences and said the British Embassy was providing help to any UK nationals caught up in the disaster.

'My thoughts are with the people of Nepal and everyone affected by the terrible loss of life and widespread damage caused by the earthquake,' he said.

'We are in close contact with the Nepalese government. The British Embassy in Nepal is offering our assistance to the authorities and is providing consular assistance to British Nationals.'  

Officials today confirmed that at least 1,341 people have died as rescue teams continue to search for survivors who are feared to be trapped under rubble. State television then said more than 1,500 had been killed. 

Effects of the quake were felt hundreds of miles away in neighbouring countries with 36 killed in India, 12 in Tibet and 4 in Bangladesh. Two Chinese citizens died at the Nepal-China border.

Panicked residents had rushed into the streets as the tremor erupted with the impact felt hundreds of miles away in big swathes of northern India and even in Bangladesh. 

Video footage showed people digging through the rubble of the bricks from the collapsed tower, looking for survivors. 

33-year-old Google executive Dan Fredinburg is among the 18 climbers confirmed killed in the avalanche on Mount Everest.

Mr Fredinburg, who used to date One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush, suffered fatal head injuries while climbing with the Jagged Globe team on Saturday.

Bush, who ended the one-year relationship last February, delivered the news in an emotional post on Instagram, which paid tribute to 'one of the great loves of my life' who was 'one of a kind'.

Fredinburg, whose job title was 'Google Adventurer', used to photograph the world's high peaks for Google Maps. He was also head of privacy for the firm's elusive invention factory Google X. 

A man buried up to his shoulders in rubble is rescued from the remains of a destroyed building in Kathmandu, Nepal, after the earthquake

A man buried up to his shoulders in rubble is rescued from the remains of a destroyed building in Kathmandu, Nepal, after the earthquake

Locals rescued the dust-covered man, pulling him up on the the street as they work to find and rescue any survivors of the disaster

People free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building

Locals rescued two more dust-covered men, pulling them up on the the street as they work to find and rescue any survivors of the disaster

Two men stand on top of the remains of a building destroyed by the earthquake as a collapsed telephone pole teeters in the rubble nearby

Two men stand on top of the remains of a building destroyed by the earthquake as a collapsed telephone pole teeters in the rubble nearby

Men carry an injured person through the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused massive damage in the city

Men carry an injured person through the streets of Kathmandu, Nepal after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake caused massive damage in the city

AUSTRALIAN GIRL FEARED AMONG THOSE KILLED IN THE DEVASTATING NEPALESE EARTHQUAKE 

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit

Australian Ballantyne Forder, 20, was working in orphanages in Nepal near where the 7.8 magnitude quake hit.

Her family launched a desperate search to find her, posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information. 

Ms Forder's sister, Amanda-Sue Markham, shared a number of pictures on Twitter and made a plea for help. 

'My sister at centre of earthquake was working in a baby's orphanage,' she said.

'Last heard of nine hours ago. If you know how to pray, please do so for the safety of my sister.'

Another sister, Priscilla-Anne Forder said the family was desperate for news.

'She's been in Kathmandu and Pokhara but we don't know where exactly she is right now,' Ms Forder told News Corp Australia.

'The family is sitting around the computer trying to get in touch and just looking for information.

'She's been over there working at baby orphanages for seven weeks. She gave everything up to over there and help the kids,' 

Ms Forder was due home in Australia at the end of May.

It is believed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will make a statement on other Australians potentially caught in the disaster once more detailed information is available. 

Her family launched a desperate search to find Ms Ballantyne, pictured at one of the orphanages she was working at in Nepal, at posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information

Her family launched a desperate search to find Ms Ballantyne, pictured at one of the orphanages she was working at in Nepal, at posting information across social media in the hopes someone can provide them with information

The United States Geological Survey said the quake struck 81 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Kathmandu at 06.11 GMT, with walls crumbling and families racing outside of their homes. The 7.8 magnitude tremor was the worst to hit the poor South Asian nation in over 80 years.

Television footage showed a huge swathe of houses had collapsed in while roads had been split in two by the force of the impact.

India was first to respond to Nepal's appeal for help by sending in military aircraft with medical equipment and relief teams. 

Britain has deployed a team of humanitarian experts to Nepal to provide urgent support for people affected by the quake, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced tonight. 

Ms Greening said: 'My thoughts are with the people of Nepal, in particular all those who have lost loved ones. 

'The absolute priority must be to reach people who are trapped and injured, and provide shelter and protection to those who have lost their homes.

'Nepal needs our urgent humanitarian assistance. That is why we have rapidly deployed a team of humanitarian experts who will immediately begin work assessing the damage and helping the Nepalese authorities respond to this devastating earthquake.'

Nepalese rescue teams remove a body from the rubble of the historic 19th century Darahara Tower in Kathmandu which collapsed in the quake

Nepalese rescue teams remove a body from the rubble of the historic 19th century Darahara Tower in Kathmandu which collapsed in the quake

People search for survivors in the rubble of a destroyed building after the earthquake hit Nepal and surrounding countries at just after 6am GBT time

People search for survivors in the rubble of a destroyed building after the earthquake hit Nepal and surrounding countries at just after 6am GBT time

People carry a woman from the rubble of a destroyed building while locals and rescue teams continue to search for more survivors of the earthquake

People carry a woman from the rubble of a destroyed building while locals and rescue teams continue to search for more survivors of the earthquake

Labour leader Ed Miliband also expressed his sympathy for all those involved, tweeting: 'The awful scenes in Nepal are heartbreaking. My thoughts go out to the people affected, and to those caring for survivors.' 

Vim Tamang, a resident of Manglung village near the epicentre, said: 'Our village has been almost wiped out. Most of the houses are either buried by landslide or damaged by shaking.'All the villagers have gathered in the open area. We don't know what to do. We are feeling helpless.'

A terrified Kathmandu resident said: 'Everything started shaking. Everything fell down. The walls around the main road have collapsed. The national stadiums gates have collapsed,' Kathmandu resident Anupa Shrestha said. 

Indian tourist Devyani Pant was in a Kathmandu coffee shop with friends when 'suddenly the tables started trembling and paintings on the wall fell on the ground.

'I screamed and rushed outside,' she told Reuters by telephone from the capital, where at least 300 people died.

'We are now collecting bodies and rushing the injured to the ambulance. We are being forced to pile several bodies one above the other to fit them in.'

Pushpa Das, a labourer, ran from the house when the first quake struck but could not escape a collapsing wall that injured his arm.

'It was very scary. The earth was moving ... I am waiting for treatment but the (hospital) staff is overwhelmed,' he said.

'The walls of houses have collapsed around me onto the road. All the families are outside in their yards huddled together. The tremors are still going on,' an AFP reporter added.

Government emergency workers are reportedly already on the scene in the most damaged areas while Save the Children teams on the ground are coordinating an emergency response.

Volunteers help remove a huge pile of debris from what used to be a building in Durbar Square before the quake which caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

Volunteers help remove a huge pile of debris from what used to be a building in Durbar Square before the quake which caused extensive damage with toppled walls and collapsed buildings

Huge teams of locals and volunteers help to heave away huge pieces of debris from homes, business and offices left by the earthquake

Huge teams of locals and volunteers help to heave away huge pieces of debris from homes, business and offices left by the earthquake

People survey a site damaged by an earthquake which caused buildings to collapse, injuring many and leaving a pall of dust over the city, witnesses said

People survey a site damaged by an earthquake which caused buildings to collapse, injuring many and leaving a pall of dust over the city, witnesses said

Teams have been working non-stop since the earthquake devastated the city of Kathmandu at midday local time (just after 6am GBT) 

Teams have been working non-stop since the earthquake devastated the city of Kathmandu at midday local time (just after 6am GBT) 

Crowds gather round the temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square which was badly damaged but has managed to stay mostly upstanding after the tremor

Crowds gather round the temple in Bashantapur Durbar Square which was badly damaged but has managed to stay mostly upstanding after the tremor

Oxfam is also lending its support to the rescue effort with teams in Nepal already assessing the humanitarian need and a team of technical experts preparing to fly from the UK with supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food supplies. 

And Christian Aid has made an initial £50,000 available to help victims. 

Tanya Barron, CEO of Plan International UK, who is in eastern Nepal on a scheduled visit, said she was on the top floor of a building when it started to 'shake violently'.

She added: 'It was very scary. Our colleagues advised us that the quake felt much stronger than usual.

'We are safe and now we are working with our colleagues to respond. There are crowds of people on the streets here and the hospitals are already overwhelmed. Our immediate priorities are to assist the emergency services with search and rescue and to establish shelter.'

A spokeswoman for Intrepid Travel, which arranges treks in Nepal and around the Everest region, said Britons were among their passengers in the area, but would not confirm how many.

Chloe Berman said: 'We are currently working with our local operations team to contact our groups in the area, and confirm that all passengers, leaders and local ground staff are safe and accounted for.

'Communications in the region is currently limited. There has been significant damage to infrastructure. Most phone lines are down and mobile coverage is limited.'

Several buildings collapsed in the centre of the capital, the ancient Old Kathmandu, including centuries-old temples and towers, said resident Prachanda Sual.



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