JEAN-PIERRE MULLER/AFP/Getty Images(KATHMANDU, Nepal) — Rescue crews from around the globe are headed to Nepal in the race to provide disaster relief and pull survivors still beneath the rubble in the wake of Saturday's earthquake that toppled temples, triggered a Mt. Everest avalanche and devastated the capital of Kathmandu.
This comes as officials said Monday that death toll had surpassed 4,000.
The U.S. government is providing an additional $9 million in assistance, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday, in addition to the $1 million already provided.
U.S. disaster relief teams are en route to join U.S. Special Forces already in Nepal. A search-and-rescue team from California took off for Nepal late Sunday night, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Crews from Israel, Japan, Australia, India, China, Germany, Canada and New Zealand are also headed to the region.
Even social media is contributing to the rescue efforts. Facebook has activated its “safety check” feature, which allows users to tell friends and family they are safe. Google has also activated its own disaster tool called “person finder” and is updating satellite imagery to help with relief efforts.
At Mt. Everest, where the magnitude-7.8 quake triggered an avalanche, three helicopters have started to rescue up to 150 stranded mountaineers. The mountain is too treacherous to walk down; the only way to evacuate safely is by helicopter.
Kat Heldman of San Diego was on Mt. Everest when the deadly avalanche struck, which she described as "a white billowing cloud."
"I thought I was dead," Heldman said.
Tents, clothing and oxygen supplies are strewn across the mountain as rescuers try to reach survivors before supplies run out or another aftershock hits. Nearly the entire 100,000-soldier Nepalese army is involved in rescue operations, the army said. Many climbers remain unaccounted for.
In Kathmandu, many streets are impassable, filled not only with rubble but with the injured. Drone footage captures the chaos in the streets as global rescue teams continue to dig through collapsed buildings in search for buried survivors.
Omar Havana/Getty Images(KATHMANDU, Nepal) -- Alex Diaz is just one of hundreds of Americans stuck at Kathmandu airport trying to flee the aftermath of this weekend's deadly quake in Nepal.
Diaz, who hails from New York, described the situation at the airport as a “complete madhouse” -- with many Americans stuck trying to leave the disaster ravaged country.
“It's really bad," he told ABC News. "Flights are not leaving, or landing fast enough, so many diversions. My flight out is stuck in Dhaka."
As the situation worsens at the airport, officials announced on Monday that the death toll had topped 4,000.
Diaz was visiting Nepal when the quake struck and is now urgently trying to leave along with countless Americans.
The U.S. State Department has not indicated exactly how many Americans are in Nepal who are trying to get out.
Diaz said the situation at Kathmandu airport it is “past desperate."
"We are just exhausted and resigned," he added. "Some people have been in this terminal for days. Basically you’re living landing to landing. If your plane can land and only then you can get out, but you don’t know which ones will land."
Diaz says people are sitting in the terminal tracking flights on flightradar24.
"Every so often one lands and that airline’s people scuttle to the super crowded gates or they run out of fuel and divert and everyone madly dashes out to the ticket counters. You just don’t know which ones will leave," he said.
Abigail Hunter(KATHMANDU, Nepal ) — The U.S. government is offering help to Nepal following Saturday's massive 7.8 earthquake that killed at over 4,000 people, including three Americans. Powerful aftershocks have continued non-stop since the temblor struck, terrifying survivors as thousands are forced to sleep out in the open.
Along with an initial $1 million to help with quake relief, U.S. specialized disaster response teams are being dispatched to Nepal to help in the search for survivors.
A team from USAID will also determine how much long-term help the U.S. can provide.
The quake near the capital of Kathmandu occurred just before noon local time Saturday, toppling temples and triggering an avalanche on Mt. Everest that killed at least 18 climbers and guides and injured many others.
Seattle-based Madison Mountaineering said on its website that Marisa Eve Girawong was a camp medic who was killed when the avalanche hit her base camp. Google executive Dan Fredinburg was also killed in the avalanche. He was also on Mt. Everest last year in April when another big avalanche hit.
Abigail Hunter, an American traveling in the Nepalese city of Bhaktapur, witnessed people pulling victims out of buildings and using motorbikes and small trucks as makeshift ambulances.
She said the earthquake reduced many of the temples to rubble, adding that she saw "lots of people praying to the actual temples" as aftershocks hit the city.
Hunter said she watched as families ran to their homes to see if anyone was still inside.
Hundreds of American citizens also remain in Nepal, with many of them sheltering in compounds and others trying to leave amid fear and frenzy in the earthquake-ravaged country.
Ineke Stoneham, press and information officer with the public affairs section for the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, said hundreds of inquiries -- from Kathmandu and through the Washington consular call center -- have been made regarding the welfare and whereabouts of American citizens.
About 3,000 American citizens reside in Nepal, and 3,000 to 4,000 Americans usually visit Nepal during the current peak tourism season, Stoneham said.
About 75 American citizens are sheltering in the embassy, while about 150 others are sheltering at the Phora Durbar compound, Stoneham said.
American Lauren Sanchez, who visited with friends and planned to attend a wedding, spent the past two days in Kathmandu and was staying at the U.S. Embassy.
“I landed half an hour before the earthquake hit. When the first big earthquake hit, it was hard to comprehend what was happening -- everyone was running out of the airport screaming,” she wrote in a message to ABC News. “Over the next 24 hours, we suffered a dozen large aftershocks that served as a constant reminder of how vulnerable we were. We slept with hundreds of Nepalese in a large, open field -- the only safe haven from the constant shocks.”
Before Sanchez visited the embassy, a Sherpa family had looked after her and others affected by the earthquake, she said.
plusphoto/amanaimagesRF/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A wealthy Finn is fed up with his country after being slapped with a speeding ticket that topped a hundred thousand dollars.
According to the local publication Italehti, Finland's speeding fines are linked to the wealth of the offender, and thanks to businessman Reima Kuisla's 2013 salary of over four million bucks, his ticket for doing 64 miles an hour in a 50 mile per hour zone will cost him 54,000 Euros, or the equivalent of more than 58,600 U.S. dollars.
Kuisla took to Facebook to complain about the fine, saying, "I would have thought ten years ago that I should seriously consider moving abroad. Finland is an impossible country...for certain kinds of people with large incomes..."
ABC News(KATHMANDU, Nepal) -- Three Americans were among the thousands killed in a massive earthquake that struck Nepal's capital on Saturday.
The State Department hasn't identified any of the three, but two of the Americans were killed in an avalanche on Mt. Everest that was triggered by the magnitude 7.8-earthquake near Kathmandu.
Seattle-based Madison Mountaineering said on its website that Marisa Eve Girawong was a camp medic who was killed when the avalanche hit her base camp. Google executive Dan Fredinburg was also killed in the avalanche.
Girawong, a physician's assistant, had attended school in Chicago and focused on trauma and wilderness medicine, said Madison Mountaineering. An avid rock climber and mountaineer, she had reached the summits of Mt. Washington and Mt. Rainier.
Abigail Hunter (BAKTAPUR, Nepal) -- An American traveling in Nepal described the moment a massive earthquake hit Saturday, as she witnessed "the whole ground, all the temples... moving at once."
"It was huge. Everyone felt it," Abigail Hunter said. "A lot of screaming going on, a lot of bricks coming down."
Hunter, the sister of an ABC News employee, is traveling in Baktapur, about 30 minutes away from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu.
The magnitude-7.8 quake hit about 50 miles northwest of Kathmandu, just before noon local time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. More than 2,100 people are dead and the death toll is expected to rise.
Hunter said she saw people pulling others out of buildings and using motorbikes and small trucks as makeshift ambulances.
"The streets are littered with bricks, debris, loads of dust," she said. "[It] was hard to see during the earthquake with all the dust."
A magnitude-6.6 aftershock hit about an hour after the initial earthquake and smaller aftershocks followed in the region for hours.
During the aftershocks, "Lots of people [were] praying to the actual temples," Hunter said.
Hunter said she watched as families ran to their homes to see if anyone was still inside.
"Everyone was very scared," she said. "Lots of crying, families trying to find each other."
"I'm from California, I've felt smaller earthquakes before but [I've never] felt anything like this," Hunter said.
Now in the earthquake's aftermath, Ayal Weiner-Kaplow, another American visiting Bhaktapur, said water wasn't flowing and most of the remaining food was dried junk food and crackers.
He said he wandered around in search for something to eat until he came upon a restaurant.
"A restaurant owner filled us up -- all of our bottles -- and gave us potatoes, bread, and chicken, refused payment adamantly," he said. "I was actually moved to tears."
neneos/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(VATICAN CITY) -- After Saturday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, Pope Francis offered his prayers for the victims from his balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square.
The pope called for help for the survivors during his weekly Sunday blessing.
Francis said he was praying for the victims, the injured and all those suffering from this calamity.
He urged others to lend them support and fraternal solidarity.
The quake damaged a large swath of territory, destroying Kathmandu, dozens of small villages and shaking the slopes of Mount Everest where it triggered an avalanche that partially buried a base camp where foreign climbers were staying.
zapatisthack/iStock/Thinkstock(ENSENADA, Chile) -- Chileans are digging out from under 15 inches of heavy inches of heavy ash, after twin eruptions from the Calbuco volcano Wednesday and Thursday spewed smoke, ash and lava 6 miles high.
More than 6,500 people have been evacuated from towns within 12 miles of the volcano, which had been dormant for more than 40 years.
Authorities worry there could be addition eruptions to come, as attention also turns to the weather.
Rain is forecast in the area over the next several days, which could solidify the thick layer of ash and ravel into rock-hard cement.
RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) -- The Canadian government and city of Vancouver are at odds over the regulation of marijuana dispensaries.
Earlier this week, Vancouver city officials announced a plan to regulate stores that sell medical marijuana.
The stores are technically illegal, but about 80 have opened up in the city, CBC News reports.
Vancouver officials want to regulate them and charge $30,000 to pay for enforcement of those rules, but lawmakers in the country’s capital say that will legitimize pot, encouraging young people to smoke it.
"Don't do it. There's no need for these storefront dispensaries,” said Canadian Health Minister Rona Ambrose on Friday.
Vancouver’s city council is expected to vote on the motion next week.
Photo by Ian Gavan/WPA Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- The anticipation of Prince William and Duchess Kate’s second baby is at a fever pitch, as the people of Great Britain and the rest of the world wait to find out all they can about the coming bundle of joy and latest addition to the royal family.
In the meantime, here are some lesser-known facts about the royals while you await Kate’s second child and future “royal spare.”
1 –Queen Elizabeth II has been head of the monarchy for more than 60 years, since 1952. She would pass Queen Victoria in September as having the longest reign of any king or queen of the British monarchy. The queen is also the 40th monarch since William the Conqueror wore the crown. Her coronation was June 2, 1953.
2 – Buckingham Palace is the queen's official London residence, but St. James's Palace is the ceremonial residence, according to the official site of the British monarchy. Buckingham Palace has 775 rooms. These include 19 State rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.
3 – The Duchess of Cambridge’s parents both worked for British Airways before founding Party Pieces, a party supply store, in 1987.
“I came up with the idea for Party Pieces when I was looking for party paraphernalia for my own children’s parties,” Carole Middleton wrote in a blog for Party Pieces. “It was impossible to find anything easily in the shops and trying to find value for money party bag presents was a complete nightmare!”
4 – During her reign as queen, Elizabeth II has owned more than 30 Welsh corgis. According to the monarchy’s official website, “For her eighteenth birthday, The Queen was given a Corgi named Susan from whom numerous successive dogs were bred.”
5 – The queen not only owns Balmoral Castle, stud farms, a fruit farm, personal art and a fine collection of jewels, but she also own the Royal Philatelic Collection, one of the world’s largest stamp collections started in the 1800s, according to Forbes.
6 –Rowan Atkinson, David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Elton John, Guy Richie and singer Joss Stone attended William’s 2011 wedding to Kate.
7 –The queen has a long history with high fashion. Over her long, illustrious reign, Elizabeth II has had several designers, including Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies, Ian Thomas, Maureen Rose and Karl Ludwig. Angela Kelly now works as the queen’s dresser and is one of her closest confidantes.
Kor said the hug wasn't planned, according to The Times.
“This shows that former enemies can get along as human beings," Kor said, according to The Times. "What on Earth do we want to tell the world? Killing each other has never created anything good. I want to teach young people that even former Nazis and survivors can get along.”
On Kor's blog, she described what it was like when Gröning kissed her on the cheek: "Well I probably wouldn't have gone that far, but I guess it is better than what he would have done to me 70 years ago."
Kor testified Wednesday, recalling the medical experiments she endured while at Auschwitz, The Times said. It was not immediately clear when the hug occurred.
Kor's blog post concluded, "My idea is for people from the victims' side and people from the perpetrators' side to come together, face the truth, try to heal, and work together to prevent it from ever happening again."
File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(PUERTO VARAS, Chile) -- The exact moment Chile's Calbuco volcano erupted was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube by a man hiking in Llanquigue National Reserve, according to the video's description.
The video shows a forest area with gentle waterfalls that appears to be a distance away from the foot of the 6,500-foot-high volcano.
After 28 seconds pass, the volcano erupts, sending a billowing cloud of smoke and ash into the air.
"Wow!" a man can be heard saying in the video, uploaded Thursday.
The video was uploaded by a user under the name Walter Witt. He did not immediately respond to ABC News' message requesting additional comment.
Calbuco erupted twice this week -- once on Wednesday and again on Thursday -- and Chile's national geology and mining service also warned people to prepare for a possible third and "even more aggressive eruption."
Around 4,000 residents in nearby towns were forced to evacuate due to raining ash blanketing their neighborhoods.
This week was the first time the volcano has erupted since 1973, officials said.
iStock/Thinkstock(ROME) -- Extremists may have plotted an attack against the Vatican in 2010, authorities in Italy said Friday in announcing the arrests of nine suspected Islamist extremists of Afghan and Pakistan origin.
Arrest warrants were issued for others in the sweep, authorities said.
The suspects are all said to be members of an international terrorist organization affiliated with al Qaeda.
Mario Carta, of the antiterrorism police in Sassari, Sardinia, told Italian media authorities had a “strong suspicion” from wiretaps that a plot against the Vatican had been planned. Recorded telephone conversations that took place near the seat of the Roman Catholic Church were said to have mentioned “restricted areas” and used the word “papa,” which is Italian for the pope.
The antiterrorism police subsequently alerted Rome and Vatican authorities. The alleged attackers may have aborted the plan because they knew they were under surveillance, Carta said.
Mauro Mura, an Italian prosecutor, told reporters the Vatican threat was from March 2010, when Benedict XVI was serving as pope.
Those detained included two men reported to be former body guards to Osama bin Laden and who had planned attacks in Pakistan. The group was also accused of plotting to destabilize the government of Pakistan, as well as being involved in the trafficking of refugees entering Italy, sometimes with the group’s financial assistance.
The center of the operation was on the island of Sardinia, authorities said. Italian authorities have been conducting wiretaps of the group for some years now.
Police in Sardinia said they believe some of the suspects participated in the October 2009 bombing of a market in Peshawar, Pakistan, where more than 100 people were killed.
At a news conference, authorities explained the network had access to a vast supply of weapons and included numerous followers who were prepared to carry out terrorist activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Police also stated the group was responsible for assisting illegal immigrants enter into Italy and, in some cases, helped move refugees to other parts of Europe. The group provided fake documents, cellphones, and provided statements to help obtain political asylum, authorities said.
Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, England) -- An American woman studying in Britain has gained more than 335,000 followers on Instagram by posting pictures and stories about her fairy tale life at Cambridge University.
Caroline Calloway, 23, left New York almost two years ago. When she started blogging about white-tie dinners, fancy balls and young men in polo gear, her social media followers started growing.
"The time Oscar flew us to Venice for Valentine’s Day” or “The time my friend Max and I went to a ball at Blenheim palace" are only some of the stories that have made the young woman popular with her peers.
One of her Cambridge friends, India, asking ABC News not to use her last name, said Calloway was always befriending people and that her success was because of her "crazy life with lots of parties."
But another student from the university, Abby Jitendra, said she thought Calloway's pictures tend to "amplify the ridiculousness of Cambridge" with its long-held traditions. “Her pictures are mainly for outsiders," Abby said, noting that less wealthy students often cannot afford the same lifestyle.
Calloway, a history of art major, says her motivation is "brightening" people's day "with jokes and stories and photos." Her fans’ reactions were unexpected, she says. "The pictures are cooler than I will ever be,” Calloway told ABC News.
Despite her apparent enjoyable life in Cambridge, Calloway says she misses her country. "In the U.S. we have the mentality that you can make it on your own," she said, before adding, "I also miss wearing my PJ's in the middle of the day. That's not a thing here."
In addition to her pictures, Calloway said, the key to her success has been the anecdotes she writes along with each of her posts.
"Without even acknowledging his concerned glances towards my vase full of red wine, I leapt out of bed saying, “Ten minutes and I’ll be ready.” “Lovely,” he replied, snapping his gaze up from the floor," Calloway wrote on Instagram to describe one picture.
“Do you need to borrow robes or— ” I pointed to the Ryder and Amies bag in the corner.“Black Undergraduate Robes? Check. AWWW YEA, CAMBRIDGE.”
The young woman plans on returning to America after she graduates in 2016. She says she has a book coming up next spring, in which she will tell her stories in a longer form.
“I hope readers will find the stories moving and funny,” said Calloway, who hopes to become an established writer one day.