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There are 100 Irish people in areas affected by the Nepal earthquake

Efforts are being made to contact some 50 Irish citizens in the quake-hit region.

Paul Devaney
Paul Devaney
Image: Irish Seven Summits/Facebook

Updated at 8.33pm

THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs has said it is now aware of 100 Irish citizens in areas affected by the massive earthquake in Nepal yesterday.

This evening, the department said contact has been established with many of these people but said lines of communication have been affected so the process may take some time.

An emergency response team has been established to handle calls from family members concerned for Irish citizens who may be stranded in Nepal.

Irish climber Paul Devaney  is among the Irish people in the region. He and his team have been helping in the rescue effort on Mount Everest, in the wake of yesterday’s earthquake and avalanches.

The Longford man – who had been attempting an ascent of the peak with Everest veteran Mingma Tsiri Sherpa and other climbers from the UK and Norway – made contact with his support team again today, after initially sending a short message yesterday to confirm that he was safe.

“Paul has been in contact this morning and confirmed that they are unharmed following yesterday’s disaster,” a message on Facebook said.

“Further avalanches triggered by a large aftershock occurred a short time ago. Unclear as to their effect.”

“The scale of the disaster has taken their toll physically and mentally as they and all able bodied climbers assist the Emergency Response unit on the mountain, tending to those affected.

Helicopters arrived this morning at base camp to evacuate the injured. Awaiting climbers above Camp 1 & 2 to make their way back down once the icefall has been checked.

Helicopters have been airlifting injured climbers off Everest today after an avalanche yesterday killed at least 18 people. At least six helicopters landed at base camp in Nepal, after weather conditions improved overnight.

Fearful climbers have reported smaller avalanches on the mountain – at camp one, above base camp, in recent hours after a 6.7-magnitude aftershock hit Nepal earlier.

India Nepal Earthquake Relief material is loaded into an Indian Air Force aircraft headed to Nepal. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The death toll from the massive earthquake that ripped through the Himalayan nation yesterday has now exceeded 2,500.

Other Irish groups

Professional climber Ian Taylor, who had just returned to Kathmandu from base camp, has also been posting on Facebook since the quake hit, and has confirmed that he is safe.

Another Irish group, from Courtown in Wexford, who are also in Nepal, have reported they are unharmed. The Irish Independent reports that one member of the group texted her son to let him know that they were okay.

Many climbers had traveled to the country for the start of the annual climbing season, which was cancelled last year after 16 sherpa guides were killed in what was previously the deadliest disaster in the mountain’s history.

Includes reporting from AFP and by Michelle Hennessy.

Related: Reports of fresh avalanche near Everest as Nepal death toll tops 2,000 

Elsewhere: Plane lands safely after engine fails mid-flight

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