Nepal Earthquake: Aid Arrives, More Bodies Found on Everest –

Indian military planes carrying tents, food and other relief materials arrived in Nepal Sunday, a day after a massive 7.8-earthquake struck the Himalayan nation and killed more than 1,800 people there.

The aid group Save the Children, which was one of many groups mobilizing emergency teams to head to Nepal, said in a Twitter message that, “Our people on the ground have found the overall situation to have been worse than their worst fears.”

Nearly 1,900 people are believed dead in four countries in the aftermath of the quake, which struck just before noon local time (2:15 a.m. ET) Saturday about 50 miles from the capital of Kathmandu. Nepal bore the brunt of the damage, with 1,805 dead and more than 5,000 injured, Home Ministry official Laxmi Dhakal told The Associated Press.

Indian air force planes landed Sunday with 43 tons of relief material, including tents and food, and nearly 200 rescuers, according to India’s External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup, the AP reported.

Meanwhile, the bodies of 17 people were found at a base camp on Mount Everest Sunday, a day an avalanche triggered by the earthquake swept down the mountain, Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, told NBC News. 61 others were injured, he said. It is believed to have been the deadliest day ever recorded on the world’s tallest mountain.

Twenty-two of the injured were airlifted to a medical facility in Pheriche village, the AP reported, but bad weather was hampering helicopter rescues.

At least one American, Google executive Dan Fredinburg, was killed in the avalanche.

A camp doctor with a Seattle-based mountaineering company, Marisa Eve Girawong, also died in the avalanche, Madison Mountaineering said in a statement Sunday. Trained at John Stroger Hospital in Chicago, Girawong was pursuing a postgraduate degree at the University of Leicester in England, according to the company’s website.

Several nations have pledged to send help. The U.S. pledged an initial $1 million in humanitarian aid, the European Union said it is ready to support an international aid effort, and Pakistan said it would send doctors, hospital equipment and search and rescue teams. China is sending a 62-member search and rescue team and six dogs, which should arrive Sunday afternoon, state-run media Xinhua reported.

The U.S. urban search and rescue team Virginia Task Force 1 will head to Kathmandu Sunday morning to help in the disaster response, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia said.


— Phil Helsel


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