At least 10 South Africans trapped on Everest - report

Johannesburg - At least 10 South Africans are currently trapped on Mount Everest following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near Kathmandu in Nepal, causing avalanches on the mountain, Netwerk24 reported on Monday.

The earthquake has so far claimed the lives of 3 200 people, according to AFP, but also many in India and Tibet. Thousands were injured and many are trapped under rubble.

At least 17 climbers have been confirmed dead following avalanches on the surrounding mountain ranges.

The group Ubuntu Everest has said that 10 climbers from South Africa were scattered between the base camp at Everest, and camps 1 and 2 further up, Netwerk24 reported.

Saray Khumalo, a 43-year-old from Johannesburg, who is attempting to be the first black woman to climb the famous peak, is currently trapped at a camp 2 640m above sea level.

Khumalo was busy with preparations before her journey to the summit began on May 20.

On Sunday, she sent an SMS to Ubuntu Everest stating she had experienced the earthquake, but was safe.

The other South Africans in the group are Lysle Turner, Ronnie Muhl, Donna McTaggart, Elizabeth Bool, the adventurer Sean Wisedale, Marlette Hegyi, Wilmien van der Merwe, Nico Oosthuizen and Katlego Letheo.

They are believed to be safe, but it is still uncertain how they will come down from the mountain.

A spokesperson for Ubuntu Everest, Schultz Sarieta, said it was possible that there were more South Africans trapped on the mountain that the group did not know.

Some of the climbers who were trapped at camp 1 have already been rescued by helicopter, Schultz added.

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