FCO issues warning against all but essential travel after earthquake

The devastating earthquake which shook Nepal to its core on Saturday has claimed at least 3,600 lives, injured at least 6,500, and destroyed many thousands of homes.

The FCO has advised against all but essential travel to the entire country, and recommended that those already in the country should find a safe place and stay there until it is safe to leave. British nationals currently in Nepal who wish to inform the FCO about their whereabouts are advised to either complete this online form, email help@fco.gov.uk or call +44 207 008 0000.

The epicentre of the 7.8-magnitude quake was about 50 miles northwest of the capital Kathmandu, where a number of historical treasures have been reduced to rubble, including several buildings at UNESCO World Heritage site Kathmandu Durbar Square. Additionally, the nine-story Dharahara tower collapsed into a stump, and so far almost 200 bodies have been found in the debris.

Nepali Times editor Kunda Dixit has described the destruction as “culturally speaking an incalculable loss”.

The disaster has created a major humanitarian crisis: thousands have been made homeless, hospitals are at breaking point, exposed bodies are creating a risk of a health hazard and access to water and food is becoming increasingly difficult for many. Fears are growing for the numerous remote mountainside villages, some of which are currently impossible to reach.

At least 18 climbers have lost their lives at Everest, where a huge avalanche caused by the quake thundered down the mountain. Some are still unaccounted for and more deaths are expected. The avalanche buried much of Everest Base Camp, and the terrifying moment it arrived can be seen in the below video filmed by mountaineer Jost Kobusch.

More than 200 climbers have been rescued from the region.

Nepal is a relatively poor country and foreign aid will be crucial in helping the people recover from the disaster. If you would like to donate you can do so via Oxfam, which has set up an emergency appeal.