Nepal quake: Survivors running out of time

As bodies pile up rescuers continue to dig using their bare hands in search of survivors.

Nepalese residents walk past road damage following an earthquake in Kathmandu on 26 April, 2015. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - There are fears time is running out to find more survivors of the deadly earthquake in Nepal with over 2,200 people now confirmed dead.

A magnitude 7.9 quake struck between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara yesterday bringing down homes, bridges and other infrastructure.

As bodies pile up rescuers continue to dig using their bare hands in search of survivors.

A big aftershock between Kathmandu and Mount Everest has unleashed more avalanches forcing doctors to treat patients in the street as hospitals become overcrowded.

The US Geological Survey's Zachary Reeves, "It appears there was another after shock from the Nepal earthquake and the preliminary magnitude is a 6.7. There have been a lot of aftershocks and there's a pretty good chance there's going to be more for at least the next few days."

WATCH: Massive earthquake rocks Nepal.

Meanwhile a South African woman has told Eyewitness News that her husband has survived the earthquake in Nepal but he's stranded and unable to get home.

Candice Goodman says her husband Errol was on a hiking trip with six members of the Johannesburg hiking club when the quake hit Kathmandu.

She says the only contact she has had with her husband Errol since the quake hit has been a few SMS's and an email.

He has described scenes of panic saying the authorities there are not geared up for disaster relief efforts and repatriation.

"He says he is relatively safe, when it happened he was in Kathmandu in the narrow streets surrounded by buildings old and new and many buildings were coming down within metres of where they were. He says he wanted to help but the language caused problems and the panic between people was causing more injuries."

Errol Goodman was buying last minute gifts for his family when the earthquake struck, knocking him off his feet.

At the same time Gift of the Givers says it's sending 20 of its search and rescue personnel together with technological equipment to Nepal.

The aid group also has a team of 20 trauma specialists on standby.

The organisation's Imtiaz Sooliman said, "We're looking at a three level response, first a search and rescue team with highly specialised equipment, then a medical team with trauma specialists with their equipment and supplies for the people of Nepal. This includes tents, clothing water and food."


The death toll in the Nepal earthquake has passed the 2,000 mark.

A big aftershock between Kathmandu and Everest unleashed more avalanches in the Himalayas.

In the capital, hospital workers stretchered patients out onto the street to treat them as it was too dangerous to keep them indoors.

"Another one, we have an aftershock right now. Oh shit!" said Indian climber Arjun Vajpai over the phone from Makalu base camp near Everest. "Avalanche!" he shouted. Screams and the roar of crashing snow could be heard over the line as he spoke.

The tremor, measured at 6.7, was the most powerful since Saturday's 7.9 quake itself the strongest since Nepal's worst earthquake disaster of 1934 that killed 8,500 people.

"There is no way one can forecast the intensity of aftershocks so people need to be alert for the next few days," said L.S. Rathore, chief of India's state-run weather office.

In Everest's worst disaster, the bodies of 17 climbers were recovered from the mountain on Sunday after being caught in avalanches.

A plane carrying the first 15 injured climbers landed in Kathmandu at around noon local time.

"There is a lot of confusion on the mountain. The toll will rise," said Gelu Sherpa, one of the walking wounded among the first 15 injured climbers flown to Kathmandu.

"Tents have been blown away," said Sherpa, his head in bandages.

The aftershock rocked buildings in the Indian capital New Delhi and halted the city metro.

In the capital, hospital workers stretchered patients out onto the street to treat them as it was too dangerous to keep them indoors.

US geological survey's Zachary Reeves said, "There is a good chance that there will be more aftershocks in the next few days."

WATCH: Historic Nepal tower collapses.


There were nearly 1,000 climbers and sherpas on Everest when the first avalanche struck, claiming the highest toll of any disaster on the world's highest mountain.

Climber photographs on social media sites showed tents and other structures at Everest base camp flattened by rocks and snow.

The first reported photo of the avalanche showed a monster "cloud-like" mass of snow and rock descending down the mountain.

Helicopters were able to fly in on Sunday morning as clouds lifted to evacuate the injured to a lower altitude, from where they were being flown to Kathmandu.

"All badly injured heli evacuated," Romanian climber Alex Gavan tweeted from base camp. "Caring for those needing. Want sleep."

Another 100 climbers higher up Everest at camps 1 and 2, were safe but their way back down the mountain was blocked by damage to the treacherous Khumbu icefalls, scene of an avalanche that killed 16 climbers last year.

Helicopters had started to shuttle them to base camp, Gavan reported.

The main earthquake, centred 80 km east of the second city, Pokhara, was all the more destructive for being shallow.