At least 18 are dead and dozens injured in the avalanche set off by the massive magnitude-7.8 earthquake that has left at least 3,300 dead in Nepal and neighboring countries on Saturday. More than 200 climbers have been rescued around Mount Everest.
Many mountaineers have taken to social media to share their experiences. Dutch climber Eric Arnold describes the avalanche in a blog post:
Through the radio we hear the bad news. A large part of the base camp was destroyed by an avalanche. Our camp is a miracle of miracles onaangetast.We descend to the base camp to help them. What we see is horrible. Everywhere there are tents, personal belongings and climbing gear. The lower part of the camp is also not affected. There is a makeshift infirmary furnished. Many victims have head injuries and are in bad shape. Around me I hear reports about ten to thirty deaths. A japanese show me horrible pictures on his phone. They make me shiver. BC now seems like a refugee camp. Some people skip headlong flight. Others try to cobble together an outfit for the cold night to come. On the way back to BC I check my broken tents sleeping bags and down suits. I’m terrified that I’ll find a body.
The avalanche left Garrett Madison, owner of Seattle-based Madison Mountaineering expedition company, and 14 other climbers stranded at Camp 2, farther up the mountain.
“We are running low on food and fuel and we have to get down. There’s no path or route through the Khumbu icefall,” Madison said in a satellite phone call posted on the company’s website on Sunday. “Our only option to get down is by helicopter evacuation.”
On Monday, the group was able to evacuate to Camp 1 and then was airlifted down to base camp.
— Rizal Zulkapli AWANI (@rizalzulkapli) April 25, 2015
Google executive Daniel Fredinburg was among those killed by the avalanche. Fredinburg was part of a Google team attempting to create a Google street map of the trek to Everest Base Camp
Kathmandu has since been filled with vast tent cities, housing those displaced or afraid to return to their homes. Strong aftershocks continued into Sunday, as thousands spent their second night sleeping outside.
Dozens are also reported to have been killed in neighboring China and India.
Above, footage captures the moment a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Katmandu, Nepal, on Saturday. (Time)
Officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims of this tragic event.