Kiwis in Nepal have spoken of yesterday's terrifying earthquake and say the country needs help urgently.
At least 1865 people have died, buildings have collapsed, power cut and infrastructure damaged across the country. The 7.8-magnitude quake triggered deadly avalanches in and around Mt Everest.
Aid workers and New Zealanders with ties to Nepal said the country faced a shortage of tents, potable water, food and household supplies.
The quake disrupted flights and communications and Kiwis with friends and family in the Himalayan country were anxiously waiting to confirm the safety of loved ones.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mfat) said it would take time to reach all New Zealanders but it made contact with over 110 Kiwis and confirmed their wellbeing.
But there was heartbreak for staff at a New Zealand adventure company when five of their Nepali colleagues were killed in an avalanche.
Adventures Consultants said the quake caused a big chunk of ice to fall, triggering the Everest Base Camp avalanche that killed two employees.
Steve Moffat, the Wanaka-based firm's operations manager, said he understood the avalanche consisted of a "massive blast" of powder snow when ice fell from Pumori and Lingtren, mountains above the base camp in the Khumbu Glacier.
Last April, three local staff were killed in the Everest avalanche which killed 16 Nepalese.
Mr Moffat's colleague Guy Cotter was leading a party of seven Kiwis on Mt Everest.
The company's operations manager Caroline Blaikie confirmed that group was safe at Camp One but said others in the area needed help.
Ms Blaikie said the company contacted the group via satellite phone.
She said other camps in the area were devastated and people needed clothes and equipment.
Helicopters had airlifted injured people from Everest Base Camp, she said.
The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal for money to rebuild villages in the Mt Everest region of Solukhumbu damaged by the earthquake.
Prue Smith, general manager of the Himalayan Trust New Zealand, said it would take time to fully understand the immensity of the disaster.
However, as the situation was unfolding, the trust was looking at a long-term response to work with local communities.
Donations for the Rebuild Appeal could be made through the trust's Givealittle appeal page.
Ms Smith is in Kathmandu, having come back from the mountains where she has been visiting remote villages before the earthquake.
At 2pm Nepal time, she said continuing aftershocks had forced her to shift hotels to one outside the city.
She had been awake most of the night.
"In the early morning, it was eerily quiet. Most people slept outside but there was little traffic on the road as you would normally see.
"We are waiting to check in with the people in our communities up in the mountains to find out the level of damage."
The trust has 67 schools that it directly supports.
Ms Smith said there had been communications problems.
A Nepalese Kiwi whose family survived the quake said homelessness was compounding misery for quake survivors.
New Zealand Nepal Society president Uddhav Adhikary said his daughter-in-law Sujata, granddaughter Aarna, 3, and grandson Aarbha, 6 months, were in Kathmandu having lunch when the quake struck.
"They were inside. When they [felt] it, they came out," he said. "My granddaughter was screaming."
The trio went to visit Nepal from New Zealand three months ago. When Mr Adhikary most recently spoke to them, they were still outside, among the many people avoiding unsteady or damaged buildings after the quake.
Mr Adhikary said people worldwide were calling home to check on the safety of loved ones, overloading phone networks.
"I tried about 20 times to get one family member in contact," he said. "Some of the lines are working. Some are not working."
The New Zealand film crew of TV One's upcoming drama Hillary left Nepal three days before the earthquake.
The 15-strong crew, including The Hobbit star Dean O'Gorman, then went to India, where producer Carmen Leonard said everyone "was shaken but okay" after experiencing the massive earthquake in Varanasi, 350km from Kathmandu.
Prue Smith, Himalayan Trust New Zealand general manager, was in Kathmandu.
She just returned from the mountains where she was visiting villages before the earthquake.
"We have had continuing aftershocks and I was awake most of the night," she said. "It's early morning here but it's eerily quiet. Most people have slept outside but there is little traffic on the road as you would normally see.
Several countries and organisations have pledged aid to Nepal.
The New Zealand Government promised at least $1m in aid. Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully said the contribution would go to aid agencies active on the ground.
Several nations, including India and China, had deployed urban search and rescue or response teams.
"New Zealand has offered to assist, but at this stage it is clear that Nepal's close neighbours have been able to deploy teams rapidly," Mr McCully said.
The Labour Party's foreign affairs spokesman David Shearer said the Government was duty-bound to act immediately because of New Zealand's strong links to Nepal through Sir Edmund Hillary's legacy of support.
"Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. This is a tragedy on a massive scale and we cannot sit back and watch from the side-lines."
Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said Cantabrians understood the trauma Nepalis were suffering. She said councillors would meet on Tuesday to discuss how the city could help.
"We also know that early financial assistance is what is needed, so we will be coordinating a fundraising effort that will enable everyone to contribute," Ms Dalziel said.
"All our libraries and service centres will have donation buckets and we will be encouraging citizen-led initiatives."
World Vision had 200 staff undertaking search and rescue operations as the first priority.
The organisation said potable water, food, household supplies, protection for children and temporary shelter were also needed.
World Vision said Kathmandu hospitals desperately needed wound management kits to help an influx of injured patients.
Meanwhile, Mfat understood Kathmandu Airport was operational for commercial flights this evening, New Zealand time.
"New Zealanders trying to leave Kathmandu are advised to visit their relevant airline office at Kathmandu airport with their passport and a copy of their ticket and seek to be rebooked on the next flight," an Mfat spokeswoman said.
"Those who have booked through travel agents, however, may find it easier to liaise directly with them."
Unicef: Visit unicef.org.nz/nepal or call 0800 243 575
World Vision: Visit worldvision.org.nz or call 0800 800 776
Oxfam: Visit oxfam.org.nz or call 0800 600 700
Red Cross: Visit redcross.org.nz or call 0800 Red Cross (0800 733 276)
Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand: Visit caritas.org.nz or call 0900 4 11 11
New Zealand Nepal Society: Donations can be made to bank account number 01-0142-0053378-00
Himalayan Trust Rebuild Appeal: Visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/nepalearthquake
ADVICE FOR KIWIS:
• New Zealanders travelling or living in Nepal should follow the advice of local authorities, Mfat says.
• New Zealanders in Nepal requiring consular assistance should contact the New Zealand High Commission India on +91 11 4688 3170 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• If you have plans to travel to Nepal contact your airline, accommodation provider or tour operator for the latest information.
• If you have concerns about a New Zealand citizen family member in Nepal, try to make direct contact. Be aware that communications infrastructure has been damaged, making contacting people in Nepal difficult.
• If you have ongoing concerns contact Mfat on 04 439 8000 from New Zealand or +64 4 4398000 if calling from outside New Zealand.
• New Zealanders looking for relatives in Nepal can register names confidentially on the Red Cross website, and report relatives as safe and well after they have made contact, for free here.
• Google is also offering its free Person Finder service here.