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The UK has given £5m to help people affected by the Nepal earthquake, which has killed more than 3,600 people.
The government said it had released £3m to address immediate needs and £2m would be given to the Red Cross.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen was “shocked to hear of the appalling loss of life and injuries” and “her thoughts and prayers are with the victims”.
A number of Britons have been caught up in Saturday’s earthquake and the powerful aftershock felt on Sunday.
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted that a UK search and rescue team would be travelling to Nepal on Sunday night with RAF aircraft being sent on Monday.
According to Nepalese officials, at least 3,617 people have died and more than 6,500 people have been injured.
At least 18 people have been killed in avalanches on Mount Everest.
Climbers and their guides have been cut off from Everest’s devastated base camp, unable to come down because climbing ropes and ladders have been swept away.
Rescuers told the BBC the mountaineers were being rescued by helicopter but bad weather had hampered efforts.
As the weather cleared on Monday, Nepalese officials said four helicopters have been deployed to rescue the climbers stranded at the first and the second camp.
Tourism department director general Tulsi Gautam told the BBC there were 210 mountaineers trapped in the two camps and several of them have already been brought down to the base camp and nearby villages.
Alex Staniforth, 19, from Chester, who had been trapped for two nights, messaged that he has now been evacuated.
His latest tweet reads: “Evacuated to base camp. Emotionally trashed & all gear swept away. VERY LUCKY to be alive please let everyone know”.
A team of Ghurkas were also trapped on the mountain but have now been evacuated.
Their latest update reveals: “Great news! The team are safely back in base camp.
“They are recovering what they can of their personal kit and equipment, and will spend two days at base camp to consolidate and assist with the recovery effort.”
The earthquake struck in the midst of the spring season in Nepal, when most of the attempts to climb mountains in the region are made.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said “we would expect there to be several hundred British nationals in Nepal” but there were currently no reports of any Britons killed or injured.
“British embassy staff have helped over 200 British nationals who’ve presented at the embassy directly,” he said.
The Foreign Office (FCO) has released an emergency number – +44 (0) 207 008 0000 – for people worried about loved ones who may have been in the area at the time.
A British couple on their honeymoon are among a number of Britons caught up in the earthquake and subsequent avalanches in the Everest area.
Alex Schneider and Sam Chappatte, who are safe but cut off at a Mount Everest camp, described seeing an “Avalanche coming straight” at them.
Tom Elphinstone and Zara Carey, both 26 and from London, hacarrying seven search and rescue crews, four search and rescue dogs, a medical support team and a hazardous materials specialist.
They are taking more than 11 tonnes of kit, including torches, axes, rope, search cameras, stretchers and tents.
A Foreign Office Rapid Deployment Team to provide further consular assistance for British nationals will also be on board along with experts from leading aid agencies including the British Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Map Action, an international disaster mapping charity.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “These are brave men and women who will be doing crucial, life-saving work on behalf of the UK.”
Adam Turner, from Lincolnshire, who works for the charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID) and is heading for Nepal, told the BBC: “It’s inherently risky to work in a disaster zone. There have already been a number of aftershocks”
They have told family members of “swaying streets” and being in a building which moved “like a ship” with “plaster falling off the walls”.
The Department for International Development (DfID) has deployed a team of more than 60 search and rescue responders and medical experts to support the relief effort in Nepal
A DfID-chartered flight from London is expected to arrive in Kathmandu on Monday Tanya Barron, from Plan International, told the BBC of the scenes she had encountered while travelling through the more remote areas of the region.
She said that although Kathmandu was in an “area of devastation and massive need” the remote mountainous villages were “almost without any support”.
She added: “The government is doing a good job but nevertheless I have just driven past families sitting in the middle of the rubble of their homes trying to make little tarpaulins with
“There was an aftershock of 6.7… which is a pretty big earthquake on a normal day. Many more houses were brought down so now as we travel through the countryside we see thousands of people camping out on hill sides with very little shelter.”
An earthquake consultant working for the UK government said Nepal was unprepared for an earthquake of this scale.
Jon Bennett, from Oxford Development Consultants, had travelled to Nepal two weeks ago on behalf of the UK government to assess how ready the country was for an earthquake.
He told BBC Radio 5 live: “We knew, when we were looking at the situation out there, that if there was going to be a very large earthquake like this, the level of the preparedness in the country was nowhere near sufficient to cope with the kind of events that were likely to unfold, as indeed has been the case.”
Culled from BBC News website –