TIME Nepal

Google Executive Killed in Everest Avalanche After Nepal Quake

An executive at Google was killed when a 7.8-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal on Saturday morning and started an avalanche on Mount Everest, where he was part of a climbing team, his family said.

Dan Fredinburg was climbing Everest with a Jagged Globe expedition team when he suffered a fatal head injury, according to Jagged Globe and his family. He was one of at least 10 people killed on Everest and more than 1,300 people killed across Nepal in the quake.

Fredinburg’s sister shared the news of his death on social media:

At Google, Fredinburg was an engineer who focused on privacy, including for the Google X innovation lab, Re/code reports.

Two other members of his Jagged Globe group were also hurt in the avalanche on Saturday, Jagged Globe said, but they had non-life-threatening injuries.

Shortly before his death, Fredinburg posted this picture:

Day 22: Ice training with @micbattelli means frequent stops for morning cappuccino, regardless of danger. #Everest2015

A photo posted by Dan Fredinburg (@danfredinburg) on

Read next: The Story Behind the Photos of Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake

TIME Pakistan

Gunmen Kill Prominent Female Activist in Pakistan

Pakistan
Shakil Adil—AP People carry the casket of a prominent women's rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, who was killed by unknown gunmen during a funeral in Karachi, Pakistan on April 25, 2015.

Sabeen Mahmud was shot in what friends are calling an assassination

(KARACHI, Pakistan)—Gunmen on a motorcycle killed a prominent women’s rights activist in Pakistan just hours after she held a forum on the country’s restive Baluchistan region, home to a long-running insurgency, police said Saturday.

While investigators declined to speculate on a motive for the killing of Sabeen Mahmud, friends and colleagues immediately described her death as a targeted assassination in Pakistan, a country with a nascent democracy where the military and intelligence services still hold tremendous sway.

The gunmen shot both Mahmud and her mother, Mehnaz Mahmud, as they stopped at a traffic light Friday night in an upscale Karachi neighborhood, senior police officer Zafar Iqbal said. Later, Mahmud’s car was brought to a nearby police station; blood stained the car’s white exterior, the front driver’s side window was smashed and a pair of sandals sat on the floor, surrounded by broken glass.

“Two men riding a motorcycle opened fire on the car,” Iqbal said. Mahmud “died on her way to the hospital. Her mother was also wounded,” he said.

Alia Chughtai, a close friend of Mahmud, told The Associated Press that Mahmud was driving at the time of attack and her mother was sitting next to her. Chughtai said Mahmud’s driver, who escaped unharmed, was sitting in the back seat at the time of the attack. She said she did not know why the driver wasn’t driving the car.

Iqbal and other police officials declined to speculate on a motive for the slaying. However, earlier that night, Mahmud hosted an event at her organization called The Second Floor to discuss human rights in Baluchistan, an impoverished but resource-rich southwestern province bordering Iran.

Thousands of people have disappeared from Baluchistan province in recent years amid a government crackdown on nationalists and insurgent groups there. Activists blame the government and intelligence agencies for the disappearances, something authorities deny.

Qadeer Baluch, an activist who last year led a nearly 3,000-kilometer (1,900-mile) protest march across Pakistan to demand justice for the missing in Baluchistan, attended Mahmud’s event Friday night. Baluch, known widely as Mama or “Uncle” in Urdu, hinted that the government could be involved in Mahmud’s slaying.

“Everybody knows who killed her and why,” Baluch told Pakistan’s The Nation newspaper, without elaborating.

In a statement Saturday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned Mahmud’s killing and ordered an investigation into the attack. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad also condemned Mahmud’s slaying and offered condolences to her loved ones.

Mahmud was “a courageous voice of the Pakistani people and her death represents a great loss,” it said.

Mahmud, a well-known activist who also ran a small tech company, hosted poetry readings, computer workshops and other events at The Second Floor. She continued to live in Karachi, Pakistan’s southern port city, even while acknowledging the danger from insurgent groups and criminals operating there.

“Fear is just a line in your head,” Mahmud told Wired magazine in 2013. “You can choose what side of that line you want to be on.”

Also Saturday, Pakistan’s powerful army condemned the killing of Mahmud, pledging that the country’s intelligence agencies would assist in the investigation and that authorizes would “apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

“We condemn the tragic and unfortunate killing of Ms. Sabeen Mahmud,” said Maj. Gen. Asim Salim Bajwa, the army spokesman, in a statement. “Our heart goes out to bereaved family at this sad moment.”

TIME Nepal

U.S. Sending Disaster Response Team, $1 Million in Aid to Nepal

Emergency workers and bystanders clear debris while searching for survivors under a collapsed temple in Basantapur Durbar Square following an earthquake in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015.
Omar Havana—Getty Images Emergency workers and bystanders clear debris while searching for survivors under a collapsed temple in Basantapur Durbar Square following an earthquake in Kathmandu on April 25, 2015.

The White House offered condolences and pledged support

(WASHINGTON)—The United States is sending a disaster response team and $1 million in aid to Nepal following a devastating earthquake that shook three countries.

The White House and Secretary of State John Kerry are offering condolences along with pledging the support.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake outside the capital Kathmandu killed more than 1,000 people in Nepal, India and Bangladesh. It also toppled buildings and triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest.

Kerry says in a statement that the United States stands with the people of Nepal and sends heartfelt sympathies.

He says USAID is preparing to deploy the disaster assistance response team and is activating an urban search and rescue team.

National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says the U.S. stands ready to provide further assistance in the region.

TIME Nepal

Google Deploys Person Finder Tool to Help Survivors of Nepal Earthquake

The tool helps relatives find missing people

Google is helping to connect survivors with worried relatives after a catastrophic earthquake rocked Nepal Saturday morning.

The Person Finder tool, a missing persons database supplied with crowdsourced data, is intended to help people find those who were affected by the earthquake.

More than 1,300 have been counted dead after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of Kathmandu. Damage has extended to India, Bangladesh and Tibet, and at least 1,700 people have been injured.

Google Person Finder gathers information from responders and individuals, who can upload information for a missing person or someone who has been found, helping people locate each other. The search giant has deployed the tool before in times of disaster.

As of Saturday afternoon, about 1,700 records had been uploaded.

TIME Behind the Photos

The Story Behind the Photos of Nepal’s Devastating Earthquake

Freelance photographer Omar Havana was in Kathmandu when the earthquake hit

Freelance photographer Omar Havana was at home in Kathmandu when an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale hit central Nepal.

“Everything started moving and my wife and I could [barely] stand,” Havana tells TIME. “I live in a six-floor house, so we ran downstairs as the building started to crack. It was very scary—people were running, shouting and crying. It was awful.”

With a death toll rising by the hour—this earthquake is Nepal’s worst in 81 years—Havana witnessed scenes of panic as people looked for safety in open spaces. “There were more replicas, which scared everyone even more,” he said. “It has been one of the worst scenes I’ve witnessed in my life.”

The Spanish photographer, who moved to Kathmandu seven months ago and is represented by Getty Images, also saw acts of humanity. “People are doing amazing work,” he said. “They’re doing everything they [can] to help each other.”

Havana has been documenting these scenes, filing images that show the extraordinary extent of the destruction and the astonishing solidarity in its wake. “I try to be as human as I can be but it’s hard not to be overwhelmed [by] what’s in front of my eyes: a hand appearing from the debris, a mother hold[ing] her baby. I’m just trying to tell the story of the people and the damage caused to the city.”

While shooting, Havana is also on the lookout for survivors, helping clear rubble. “I keep my eyes open, hoping I will see a person alive under the debris.”

With communications networks severely impacted, Havana has been working with colleagues from other media organizations to get his images out. “Once again, I owe the people of Nepal a lot,” he said. “They are opening us their doors to let us charge our laptops and use Internet from their houses.”

“Today has been one of the saddest of my life,” he added. “I am new in Nepal but the people [have made] me love this country as my home. I am devastated to see this situation.”

Omar Havana is a freelance photographer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. He is represented by Getty Images.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

TIME Nepal

10 Dead, More Missing in Quake-Triggered Avalanche on Everest

An unknown number of people were missing

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake in Nepal swept across Mount Everest on Saturday, killing at least 10 climbers and guides, slamming into a section of the mountaineering base camp, and leaving an unknown number of people injured and missing, officials said.

The avalanche struck between the Khumbu Icefall, a notoriously treacherous area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp where most climbing expeditions prepare to make their summit attempts, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The avalanche plowed into a part of base camp, a sprawling village of climbers, guides and porters, flattening at least 30 tents, Tshering said. With communication very limited at Everest, it was not immediately clear how many of those injured and killed were at base camp, and how many were elsewhere on the mountain.

An official with Nepal’s mountaineering department, Gyanendra Shrestha, said the bodies of 10 people had been recovered and an unknown number remained missing or injured. Their nationalities were unclear as climbers described chaotic attempts to treat the injured amid fears of more landslides and aftershocks that continue to rattle the region. Chinese media reported a Chinese climber and two Sherpa guides were among the dead.

Hundreds of climbers — ranging from some of the world’s most experienced mountaineers to relative novices on high-priced, well-guided trips — make summit attempts on Everest every year. At times, when the weather is agreeable, dozens of people can reach the summit in a single day. But high winds, brutal cold, difficult terrain and massive avalanches can hit the mountain with no notice. Hundreds of people have died on the mountain over the years.

“Right now, it is pretty chaotic and we try to help those injured,” Danish climber Carsten Lillelund Pedersen wrote in an email to Danish news agency Ritzau.

Norwegian climber Teodor Glomnes Johansen told a newspaper in Norway that people at base camp were working on saving lives.

“All those who are unharmed organize help with the rescue efforts. Men, women and Sherpas are working side by side. The job right now is to assist the doctors in the camp here,” Glomnes Johansen told Norway’s VG newspaper.

Carsten Lillelund Pedersen said that he and a Belgian companion were at the Khumbu Icefall, at an altitude of 5,000 meters (16,500 feet), when the earthquake hit.

He said a steady flow of people were fleeing the base camp for more secure areas down the mountain.

Local reports in China said an amateur team encountered an avalanche on the north slope of the mountains at an elevation of more than 7,000 meters (22,965 feet) and safely retreated to a lower camp.

The magnitude-7.8 quake struck around noon Saturday about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, almost one year after the deadliest avalanche on record hit Everest, killing 16 Sherpa guides on April 18, 2014.

The 2014 deaths occurred at the Icefall, where the edge of the slow-moving glacier is known to crack, cave and send huge chunks of ice tumbling without warning.

More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by New Zealand climber Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The numbers have skyrocketed in recent years, with more than 800 climbers during the 2013 spring season.

Following the 2014 disaster, guides accused Nepal’s government of not doing enough for them despite making millions in permit fees from Western mountaineers who attempt to scale the Himalayan peaks. The guides protested by refusing to work on the mountain, leading to the cancellation of last year’s climbing season.

TIME photography

See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

A man was pulled from the rubble alive in Kathmandu after a 7.8-magnitude quake struck on Saturday

Photojournalist Narendra Shrestha was at home on Saturday when he felt the tremors of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Nepal, killing more than 1130 people.

“I thought I was going to die,” Shrestha tells TIME. “It was horrifying. How did I get out of this? This is my lucky day.”

As soon as the tremors began, his daughter started crying—she did not want him to leave their newly built home, which was left intact. But, Shrestha said to himself, “I should capture this. This is my job”

Shrestha, 40, a staff photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency based in Kathmandu, has worked in the region and across the world for 17 years.

Shrestha was stunned by the devastation after the quake. “Everybody is in shock,” he said.

Not far from his home in Thamel, the main tourist hub in Kathmandu, he came across a hotel under construction. An old home next to the hotel had collapsed, trapping an undetermined number of people. Shrestha estimated 40 construction workers were on site, actively searching for people who were trapped, when they found a man.

“All you could see was his head,” he said. “The rest of his body was buried.”

As they worked to uncover him it was apparent he was still alive.

With dust still in the air and a flurry of rescue workers and volunteers scrambling to find survivors, Shrestha captured the scenes of chaos before returning to his office to transmit his photos, as aftershocks continued to be felt across the region.

Shrestha also checked on his father—who has lived through numerous earthquakes. “He’s never seen anything like this,” he said

As night approached in Kathmandu, people were still in shock, he added. “Nobody is going to sleep in their homes tonight. I’m going to move my family outside. I’m just grateful my family is OK.”

TIME Nepal

Hundreds Dead as 7.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Nepal

The damage stretched across the country

A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck central Nepal on Saturday morning, damaging buildings in the country’s capital, Kathmandu, and sending tremors across northern India, Bangladesh and as far afield as Pakistan. At least 1,805 people were killed, the Associated Press reports.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located about 50 mi (80 km) northwest of Kathmandu, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which said the quake struck Nepal just before noon at a shallow depth of only about 9 mi (15 km) belowground.

More than 6.6 million people are in the area affected by the earthquake, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Bangkok.

“I thought I was going to die,” photojournalist Narendra Shrestha tells TIME. “It was horrifying. How did I get out of this? This is my lucky day.”

Read more: See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

In Kathmandu, residents congregated on streets and other open areas as the USGS reported a series of powerful aftershocks. Buildings and temples collapsed, and roads across the city were cracked open by the quake. Kathmandu’s historic Dharahara tower—a nine story tall structure dating back to the 19th century—was brought down by the earthquake, with at least 50 people reportedly trapped in the rubble.

Read more: How Shoddily Constructed Buildings Become Weapons of Mass Destruction

An avalanche near Mount Everest triggered by the earthquake killed at least 10 people, and buildings were reported to have been damaged across parts of northern India near the country’s border with Nepal.

“We need support from the various international agencies which are more knowledgeable and equipped to handle the kind of emergency we face now,” Nepal’s Information Minister Minendra Rijal told the BBC.

The U.S. is sending a disaster response team to Nepal and has released an initial $1 million to the country, and British authorities have been in close contact with Nepal over disaster relief.

Speaking to Reuters, Krishna Prasad Dhakal, the deputy head of Nepal’s embassy in New Delhi, said: “Hundreds of people are feared dead and there are reports of widespread damage to property. The devastation is not confined to some areas of Nepal. Almost the entire country has been hit.”

With the arrival of nightfall in Nepal, rescue workers struggled to find the most vulnerable people with no place to sleep as forecasts show the temperature dropping to 54 degrees Fahrenheit in the capital, and likely far colder in higher altitudes, the Guardian reports.

In New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi convened an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation, Indian television reports.

Nepal’s capital is located in the earthquake-prone Kathmandu Valley, where the last major disaster occurred in 1934. Then, nearly 11,000 people died when a magnitude 8.4 earthquake struck Nepal and the eastern Indian state of Bihar, which borders the Himalayan country.

Read more: Your City Might Not Be Ready for the Big Next Earthquake

TIME Behind the Photos

How Photographers Are Trying to Put a Face on Europe’s Migrant Crisis

"I wanted to show that behind each migrant there’s a person”

European leaders are grappling with what’s being called one of the worst migrant and refugee crises in two generations. On Thursday, in a hastily formed summit in Brussels called after an estimated 800 people died in a capsizing off Libya while en route to Europe, leaders pledged new support to cap the rising death toll in the Mediterranean. But aid organizations and humanitarian officials said Europe is still “lagging far behind” of what’s realistically needed to ease the tragedy.

The crisis along the Mediterranean’s coastlines, from Libya to Morocco and Greece to Italy, is not new. Photographers have worked over the last decade to raise awareness as conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa have displaced millions. Last June, one image crystallized the scale of this movement. Shot by Italian photographer Massimo Sestini aboard a helicopter taking part in Mare Nostrum, an Italian-led search and rescue operation largely funded by the European Union and abandoned late last year, it showed one boat with hundreds of people looking up, waving their arms. “You could see their desperation,” Sestini said last year. “And, concurrently, their happiness at being saved.”

The photograph, which TIME named one of the top 10 images of 2014, went on to win a World Press Photo award, but it told only one part of a much larger story.

“The only way to really tell the story is to spend time with them in their home countries, see how they live, learn why they leave and then just go with them on their way,” says Daniel Etter, a German photographer, who has documented migrants in northern Africa and across Europe. He called that “almost impossible” to do. Security risks, travel obstacles and financial barriers get in the way, leaving most photographers unable to build the kind of all-encompassing narrative that could help people understand the true nature of the crisis.

Some photographers have attempted to piece together the stories of migrants who risk their lives on these journeys. Alixandra Fazzina, a photographer with Noor, followed Somali migrants’ arduous trip across the Gulf of Aden in search of a better future in her book A Million Shillings, published in 2010. One in 20 who attempted the crossing lost their lives, their bodies washing up on Yemen’s shore.

She wanted to go deeper, she says, than the “small paragraph you find in a newspaper detailing the number of people that have died… I wanted to find out why they were making the journey. I wanted to find out why these people were willing to put their lives into the hands of smugglers and traffickers? Why would somebody do that?”

Olivier Jobard, a French photographer who followed a Cameroonian man’s trek to France, seeks similar answers. “What’s bothering me when we’re talking about immigration is that we often associate these people with ghosts and shadows,” he says. “They are not human in our minds.”

Italian photographer Alessandro Penso, who has been following migrants around Europe, focusing on hotspots like Greece, Italy and Malta, says he seeks moments of spontaneity to expose the humanity of his subjects.”There are simple gestures and habits in daily life that, as banal as they can seem to our eyes, hide the simple truth that we are all humans and vulnerable.”

Humanizing the people making these dangerous and harrowing journeys is important, Penso and his colleagues argue, especially when photography can lead to misconceptions. Cases in point are the widely published photographs of “hordes” of people scaling border fences in Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the edge of northern Morocco. “[When] people see these images,” says Santi Palacios, an Associated Press photographer who has taken such pictures, “they [think] we’ve been invaded.”

The people portrayed in these images are often seen shirtless and shouting, Jobard says, deliberately assuming a provocative stance. “They actually choose to behave like ‘wild animals’ in these situations—to impress or to scare people because it’s a real battle to get in [Melilla]. Of course, that also does them disservice.”

Once they’ve made it over the fence, he says, the contrast is striking. “They dress up, they take care of their appearances.” Last year, he shadowed a man named Hassan Adam from the Ivory Coast, who spent hours on one of these fences, alone. His friends had made it across to Melilla, successfully avoiding the police forces, but Adam was handcuffed, beaten and sent back to Morocco. Jobard tracked him down, months later, after he had finally made it across. “I told his story,” he says. “I wanted to show that behind each migrant there’s a person.”

For all of those who made it over the fence, or past border patrols or across the Mediterranean, there are untold thousands who lost their lives in the search for a new or better one. In October, Italian photographer Francesco Zizola dived 59 meters to photograph the wreckage of a boat that had carried some 500 people, and now rests at the bottom of the Mediterranean. He sought to convey the vastness of the tragedy that had occurred one year before, when 360 people lost their lives.

“I wanted to show to everybody that our comfortable, bourgeois homes could turn—as if in a nightmare—into that cabin with the red curtain, which I photographed inside the sunken ship,” he says. “That cabin is the tomb of our collective conscience and a memento of our indifference.”

Alice Gabriner and Mikko Takkunen edited this photo essay. With reporting by Lucia De Stefani, a contributor to TIME LightBox.

Andrew Katz is a News Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @katz. Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent.

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