Australian confirmed dead in Nepal quake; 1,150 'safe'

A base camp at Mount Everest after a huge earthquake-triggered avalanche Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A camp at Mount Everest was destroyed by a deadly avalanche

The Australian government has confirmed that one of its nationals has been killed after Saturday's devastating earthquake in Nepal.

It said Renu Fotedar, a 49-year-old Melbourne mother of two, died in an avalanche triggered on Mount Everest by the 7.8 magnitude tremor.

Speaking on ABC radio, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said 1,150 Australians in the quake region had been found "safe".

She added that the government was searching for more survivors.

Ms Bishop said Australians who were unable get a commercial flight out of Nepal's capital Kathmandu would be flown out by Australian defence aircraft.

The Australian authorities earlier said that nearly 350 of Australian nationals registered in Nepal were missing.

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Media captionMountaineer Jost Kobusch filmed the moment of the Mount Everest avalanche

However, Prime Minister Tony Abbott stressed that information was coming slowly from the country's remote regions.

"Australians do go trekking in that part of the world and because someone is trekking in that part of the world we shouldn't assume the worst," Mr Abbott said.

"Yes, there are Australians who are unaccounted for, and people whose family members, friends or loved ones are known to be in Nepal and northern India should at first do their best to make contact with them."

Australia has pledged A$5m ($3.9m; £2.6m) in aid to Nepal and has also offered to send search and rescue teams.

At least 4,000 people are now known to have been killed after the quake struck an area of central Nepal between Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara early on Saturday.

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