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#NepalQuake: Death toll nears 5,000

Aftershocks continue to rattle the south Asian nation after the 7.8 magnitude quake.

People being rescued from rubble in Kathmandu, Nepal after a devestating earthquake. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The first South African search and rescue team is making final preparations ahead of its trip to Nepal, hoping to find more survivors following the weekend's deadly earthquake.

More than 4,400 people have already been confirmed dead.

Several aftershocks have also rattled the south Asian nation after the 7.8 magnitude quake.

A specialist group from the Gift of the Givers Foundation will be leaving for Nepal this afternoon.

Surgeons, rescue technicians, paramedics and the police's dog unit are among the first group leaving the country today.

Morne Kruger, who has been working for the Krugersdorp Fire Brigade is part of the rescue team.

"After 24 years of being in the fire department, it's something you get used to after a while. We will have to see how it affects us physiologically."

Rescue practitioner Malaka Mothusi says the team has been warned about the aftershocks that could delay their operations.

"That is something that we know, we know it will happen and already it's taken place."

The team will also assist the situation and give feedback on what is needed in the remote villages.

Another group is due to leave later this week.

The United Nations says eight million people have been affected and more than 1.4 million are in need of food assistance.

SOUTH AFRICANS IN NEPAL

Adventurer Sean Wisedale says he and other mountaineers in the region have been left rattled.

Search and rescue teams are scouring the Himalayas looking for survivors who were caught in avalanches triggered by the earthquake.

With limited medical supplies, Wisedale says everyone in the camp where he's based are doing the best they can.

"Communication is sketchy here because everything has been damaged. You know the camp is post Armageddon, it's ridiculous and the debris is strewn over hundreds and hundreds of metres over the camp."

Families are still waiting for news of the loved ones who are unable to get out of Nepal.

Sue Sherman says her son, Mike Sherman and his girlfriend, Kate Ahrends, are still stranded in the Langtang Valley where they only have two days' worth of supplies left.

"As a mom it's not easy. Not knowing whether they are alive or dead is terrible."

PICTURE: Mike Sherman and Kate Ahrends.

Meanwhile, a South African woman who identified herself only as 'Tannie', says her sister was on a plane travelling to Tibet when the deadly earthquake struck.

"Something happened to the plane, there was some delay with the door not closing properly and as they were sitting there, the earthquake came."

Rescuers are currently working under harsh weather conditions as they dig through the rubble of collapsed buildings.

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