KATHMANDU, Nepal — An avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake swept across Nepal’s Mount Everest region Saturday, killing at least 10 climbers and guides, slamming into a section of the mountaineering base camp, and leaving an unknown number of people injured and missing, officials said.

Numerous climbers may now be cut off on routes leading to the top of the world’s highest peak.

The avalanche began on Mount Kumori, a 22,966-foot-high mountain just a few miles from Everest, gathering strength as it headed toward the base camp where climbing expeditions have been preparing to make their summit attempts in the coming weeks, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The avalanche – or perhaps a series of avalanches hidden in a massive white cloud – plowed into a part of base camp, a sprawling seasonal village of climbers, guides and porters, flattening at least 30 tents, Tshering said. With communication very limited at Everest, it was not immediately clear how many of those injured and killed were at base camp, and how many were elsewhere on the mountain.

Survivors reached over Internet messaging services, however, described a scene of terror as the snow and ice roared through the nearby Khumbu Icefall and into base camp.

Azim Afif, the 27-year-old leader of a climbing team from University of Technology Malaysia, said in an interview on the service WhatsApp that his group was in a meal tent waiting for lunch when suddenly the table and everything around them began shaking.

When they ran outside, they saw “a wall of ice coming towards us,” and heard the cries of Sherpa guides shouting for people to run for their lives, he wrote. “We just think to find a place to hide and save our life.”

The small team planned to sleep together Saturday night in one large tent “to make sure if anything happen, we are together,” Afif said.

Quickly, though, climbing teams scattered across the base camp began to work together to search for survivors.

Gordon Janow, the director of programs for the Washington-based guiding outfit Alpine Ascents International, said from Seattle that his team had come through the avalanche unscathed. Their first goal was to deal with the devastation at base camp, he said, and they would then try to create new routes to help climbers stuck above the treacherous Khumbu Icefall. The icefall, which is just above base camp, is a key route up the lower part of Everest.

“Everybody’s pretty much in rescue mode, but this is different from some independent climbing accident where people can be rescued and taken somewhere else,” Janow said. “I don’t know where somewhere else is.”