Kathmandu, Nepal (BBN)– An avalanche triggered by the deadly earthquake in Nepal on Saturday buried a part of the expedition base camp for climbers bound for Mount Everest. An Indian Army mountaineering team found 18 bodies on Mount Everest on Saturday, an army spokesman said.
Reports say that most trekking parties that go up to the traditional base camp are fine.
The toll could go up, it may include foreigners as well as sherpas,” Nepal’s tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha said. Ministry officials estimated that at least 1,000 climbers, including about 400 foreigners, had been at the camp or on Everest when the earthquake struck.
Mountaineer Arjun Vajpayi told NDTV on phone that most members of his team, some 8 km off the Everest base camp, were safe. “We are about 18 of us in total. We are a little shocked. Apart from us, there are some more teams,” he said.
Two experienced mountaineers reported that panic erupted at the expedition base camp which was full of climbing teams and had been “severely damaged”, while one said the quake triggered a “huge avalanche”.
Running for life from my tent. Unhurt. Many many people up the mountain,” tweeted Romanian climber Alex Gavan who had been preparing to climb up nearby Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain.
Another climber Daniel Mazur said his team was trapped at camp one higher up the mountain in the wake of the earthquake.
A Massive earthquake just hit Everest. Basecamp has been severely damaged. Our team is caught in camp 1. Please pray for everyone,” he also tweeted.
We got caught in an earthquake on Everest. We are both ok… snowing here so no choppers coming,” said AFP’s Nepal bureau chief Ammu Kannampilly, in an SMS on approach to the base camp while on assignment, the agency reported.
Everest was hit by an avalanche last year that killed 16 guides and triggered an unprecedented shut-down of the mountain.
Some 700 climbers are in Solukhumbhu district that includes Everest, with 300 thought to be at base camp itself, deputy superintendent of police Chandra Dev Rai said.
We are trying to reach them to see if they are safe, but the phones are not working,” he told AFP from Solukhumbhu town through which climbers pass en route to the mountain.