Death, panic on Everest once more, year after tragedy

2015-04-25 16:51
Everest base camp. (<a href=www.shutterstock.com>Shutterstock</a>)

Everest base camp. (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mount Everest - Climbers on the world's highest mountain pleaded for help on Saturday after a massive earthquake triggered an avalanche at Everest base camp, killing at least 10 people and sparking panic.

They are among a total of over 900 killed in the 7.9 magnitude earthquake which hit Nepal. 

Base camp was crowded with foreign mountaineers and their sherpa teams at the start at the climbing season when the avalanche hit, destroying camps and sending slabs of ice crashing in what was described as a "huge disaster".

"Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain," tweeted Romanian climber Alex Gavan who had been preparing to ascend nearby Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak.

"Huge disaster. Helped searched and rescued victims through huge debris area. Many dead. Much more badly injured. More to die if not heli asap," he later tweeted.

Ten people were confirmed dead on the mountain and rescue efforts were underway, but heavy snow was preventing helicopters from reaching climbers, an official said.

"There might be over 1 000 people there right now, including foreign climbers and Nepalese supporting staffs. Rescue helicopters have not been able to fly because of the weather," Gyanendra Kumar Shrestha, an official in Nepal's tourism department, told AFP.

Just below base camp, Nepal bureau chief Ammu Kannampilly said she was caught in the earthquake and its aftershocks that ripped though large parts of Himalayan Nepal, leaving more than 900 people dead nationwide.

"We are both ok... snowing here so no choppers coming," she said in an SMS on approach to base camp while on assignment. "I hurt my hand - got it bandaged and told to keep it upright to stop the bleeding."

The avalanche and earthquake come just one year after a disaster on Everest killed 16 guides and triggered an unprecedented shut-down of the 8 848m peak.

Some climbers are returning this year after being forced to abandon their attempt on the summit last April during the chaos and recriminations that followed the deadliest avalanche then to ever hit Everest.

Medics already at base camp for the climbing season were working hard to "save lives", doctor and mountaineer Nima Namgyal Sherpa said on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Camps destroyed  

"Many camps have been destroyed by the shake and wind from the avalanche. All the doctors here are doing our best to treat and save lives," Sherpa said.

"Big slabs of ice" hanging near camp two, further up the mountain from base camp, came crashing down after the earthquake, with poor communications compounding fears for climbers there.

"We had some 10 to 15 climbers including some sherpas up there and we still don't have any confirmation reports [of] whether they are OK or not," climber Arjun Vajpai told India's NDTV.

"It is snowing here for the past one and a half days. We haven't been able to establish radio communication with them," he added.

About 700 climbers are in Solukhumbhu district that includes Everest, with 300 thought to be at base camp itself, and another 300 just below, deputy superintendent of police Chandra Dev Rai said.

Another climber Daniel Mazur, from SummitClimb, tweeted that base camp "has been severely damaged" while his team was caught at camp one. "Please pray for everyone."

He later tweeted to say that we "have no damage and are all safe".

Read more on:    nepal  |  earthquakes  |  nepal earthquake

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.