Anjana Rajbhandary always heard a big earthquake was coming to Nepal. But until a shoe rack collapsed on the bed she was lying on Saturday morning, the 31-year-old, who moved back to her hometown of Kathmandu from Portland in September, didn’t think it would happen.

In an apartment building in the same city, a 28-year-old independent documentary filmmaker from Southwest Harbor was huddled under a doorway while the massive earthquake sent buildings tumbling and shook roads apart.

Alison Hudson had flown in just hours earlier from filming on Mount Everest, where the earthquake triggered a massive avalanche that engulfed mountaineering camps.

“She called us this morning as soon as we were up to let us know that she was all right. We didn’t even know there was an earthquake yet,” her father, Steve Hudson, said Saturday afternoon.

Also in Nepal are a Portland photographer, his son and a friend, who left for Mount Everest last week and were trekking to base camp when the earthquake hit. Doug Bruns, 59, of Portland had been documenting the trip on his Instagram account, @themainesituation. In his last post, the group was planning to spend the night in the village of Tengboche at an elevation of 14,465 feet.

The earthquake caused their lodge to start swaying, sending everyone for the door, Bruns’ wife, Carole, said Saturday night. They had to trek out of town to send her a text message letting her know they were fine, but that it was snowing and the visibility was poor. She hasn’t heard much since.

Avid hikers, Bruns and his 32-year-old son, Tim, who lives in Colorado, tend to “egg each other” into new challenges, including this trip – her husband’s “last hurrah,” Carole Bruns said.

On Saturday, he seemed as though he just wanted to get out of the mountains, she said, but she talked to the owner of the trekking company who said they were better off continuing with their trip than going back to Kathmandu.

Meanwhile, Rajbhandary lay awake at her home in the city in anticipation of the next aftershock. Writing in the middle of the night, she recalled the events of the day. She said initially she thought she was hallucinating when her room began shaking side to side. When the shoe rack fell, she jumped up to find her dog and get to safety, but first discovered her mother staring at a hanging light that was swinging furiously.

“People were screaming and things were falling everywhere. It probably lasted less than five minutes from what I can remember, but it was so surreal,” she wrote in a Facebook message to the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Once she and her parents were out of the house with their dog, they kept to the back of their lawn, away from buildings “just praying for it to stop but it wouldn’t,” Rajbhandary said.

One of their cellphones stopped working; another wouldn’t stop ringing with news of more buildings that had collapsed.

“It just kept getting worse with more and more temples and old palaces becoming a part of history. It’s all under a pile of dust now,” said Rajbhandary, who moved to Maine in 2002 to attend the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and was working at Catholic Charities Maine in Portland when she decided she wanted to move back home to be with her family.

Hudson has been in Nepal since January making a documentary on what the life of a Sherpa mountaineering guide is like. Her movie, “Close to the Edge: Life in the Khumbu,” is headed for the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Canada, which showcases short outdoor adventure films.

This was Hudson’s second time in Nepal. She traveled there to trek alone for several weeks in 2012.

Her father said Saturday his daughter had left her Kathmandu apartment building, which was deemed unsafe, and was staying at the Hyatt Regency hotel, which opened its lobby to people displaced by the quake. He said a friend in Dubai managed to find her a seat on a flight out of Nepal on Sunday night. She will stay in Dubai until she can get another flight home.

Since speaking to their daughter at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, the Hudsons have been communicating through Facebook and email because her phone service was unreliable. Kathmandu is about 10 hours ahead of Maine time.

Steve Hudson said his daughter, a graduate of Mount Desert High School and Lawrence University in Wisconsin, has a level head. She was a member of Mount Desert Search and Rescue team and teaches back-packing part time at the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander, Wyoming.

“She has an exciting life,” her father said.

Hudson was profiled in January by Carey Kish, a blogger who writes the Maineiac Outdoors with Carey Kish blog on, owned by MaineToday Media Inc., publisher of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, The Coastal Journal, and