Last week’s eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile was its first in more than four decades. Officials issued a red alert for a nearby city, Puerto Montt, and evacuated more than 1,500 people in a six-mile radius of the volcano—some 600 miles south of Santiago—as ash began to spew into the air.
One man is freed after 18 hours of being trapped next to a friend who was killed
The house built atop a hill in Swyambhu, a neighborhood west of Kathmandu’s city center, stood at three levels before Saturday. But it couldn’t resist the wrath of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck outside of Nepal’s capital, killing more than 4,000 people and becoming the country’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
The earthquake flattened parts of the house, trapping two men side-by-side—one dead, the other alive—for more than 18 hours. Prakash Mathema, an Agence France-Presse photographer based in Kathmandu, was documenting the recovery efforts across the ravaged city when he heard that a rescue team had found the men.
“The top floor of the house had collapsed,” he told TIME on Sunday. “And the men were trapped by this beam.”
The house had been cordoned off, but Mathema requested access, aware of the risks. He entered by a window and shadowed rescuers as they worked to free the man who survived, identified as Saroj Shrestha. “It lasted seven to eight minutes,” he said.
Shrestha is now in a hospital with a broken leg, Mathema said. “I want to visit him,” he added, “but right now I have to document the rescue operations. I think it’s important [to show] what’s happening, what’s going on. There are a lot of places [in Kathmandu] where this has happened—people trapped in their houses. No one knows how many people are out there, [still alive] after 18 hours. The manpower is limited.”
At least 17 people were killed Saturday after an earthquake outside Kathmandu triggered the avalanche
An initial wave of survivors from Mount Everest arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday, one day after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck outside Nepal’s capital city and triggered an avalanche that killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more, the Associated Press reports.
AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt was at Everest Base Camp on Saturday when the avalanche flattened parts of it. After capturing the snow and debris rushing down, he turned his camera to document the aftermath: mangled tents, rescuers helping the injured and the helicopters taking them off the mountain.
Cremations of victims begin as search and rescue teams scour the rubble
A series of aftershocks rattled Nepal on Sunday as the South Asian nation was reeling from a massive earthquake that struck one day earlier outside the capital, Kathmandu, killing at least 2,200 people as search and rescue teams dug through the rubble for survivors and bodies. Saturday’s quake was the country’s worst in more than 80 years and reverberated throughout the Himalayan region, triggering an avalanche on Mount Everest that the Associated Press reports had killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more as of Sunday.
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:
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.
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.
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.”
Hundreds were killed in the quake that hit near Kathmandu
The damage stretched across the country+ READ ARTICLE
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.”
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.
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.