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There was a noise like thunder ... a tsunami of white was heading to my.

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

Adventurer Nick Talbot endured >a terrifying experience on Mount Everest ADVENTURER Nick Talbot has for the first time spoken of the moment he ran for his life from a deadly Mount Everest avalanche.

The County Durham climber, who hoped to become the first man with cystic fibrosis to conquer the mountain, was in his tent when he heard "a noise like thunder" and stepped outside to be confronted by a wall of suffocating snow.

"There was what I can only describe as a huge white tsunami coming towards my tent," the 39-year-old, who was subsequently airlifted off the mountain with cracked ribs and hypothermia said. "I only had about ten seconds to react, so without shoes or anything I started running in the opposite direction to try and get to a more sheltered position."

Picked up by icy torrent, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors worker, from Hamsterley Forest, was slammed against rocks then, buried beneath the torrent, but managed to dig himself out.

Others in his party and in the Pumori Advanced Base Camp were not as lucky - Google executive Dan Fredinburg was among 18 people killed, scores were injured and more climbers are stranded higher up the mountain.

Nick - who has raised more than PS52,000 of his PS100,000 target for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, and is still receiving donations via his virginmoneygiving.com/CFvs.Everest fundraising page - is now recovering in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and awaiting a flight home, where his relieved family are waiting.

Meanwhile humanitarian volunteers and emergency service crews from the UK have begun a search and rescue mission.

The confirmed death toll following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake has already passed 3,500, with communication problems in the worstaffected areas meaning families and friends around the world are still anxiously waiting for news of their loved ones, and dozens of British and Irish people among those missing.

An RAF plane packed with supplies has been dispatched to the crisis zone, while charity workers, experts and fire fighters from across the UK have already begun the search for survivors.

They took with them more than 11 tonnes of kit, including torches, axes, rope, search cameras, stretchers and tents.

Mike Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: "As the death toll continues to rise it is our absolute priority to continue the search and rescue operations and get aid to those left stranded.

"The Red Cross has been working in the Kathmandu valley for the last three years, informing communities of what to do in the event of an earthquake. But though many of the newer buildings have survived, the older infrastructure was not able to withstand the force of the earthquake.

"Our thoughts go out to all those affected and we urge people to give to our emergency appeal to support Red Cross staff and volunteers to respond."

Some 67 fire fighters from the International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR) are among those helping.

And while the Foreign Office said it had not received reports of any Britons being killed or injured, embassy staff have assisted 200 people.

In a message to Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav, the Queen said today that she was "shocked to hear of the appalling loss of life and injuries" caused by the earthquake, adding that her "thoughts and prayers are with the victims".

The Government yesterday also increased its pledge of financial aid, with International Development Secretary Justine Greening promising funds to match the first PS5 million made in public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Earthquake Appeal.

The DEC will make a televised appeal for public donations today, launched across all the major broadcasters and fronted by Absolutely Fabulous Star and Gurkha campaigner Joanna Lumley.

The UK has already pledged a PS5 million package of support, including PS3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) to address immediate needs on the ground and PS2 million to the British Red Cross.

Ms Greening said: "A swift and effective UK response to the Nepal earthquake means help is already reaching all those affected by this terrible disaster. But as the devastating scale of the crisis becomes clearer, we are stepping up our efforts."

CAPTION(S):

The scene after an avalanche <Bswept across Everest Base Camp

Adventurer Nick Talbot endured <Ba terrifying experience on Mount Everest
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2015
Words:731
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