Kathmandu, Nepal (BBN)-Hikers and their guides on Mount Everest had not fully recovered from the death, injuries and trauma of avalanches caused by Nepal’s massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake, when another one earthquake struck on Sunday.
It was not as powerful at magnitude 6.7, but the epicenter was closer to the mountain, where people are still missing, some believed to be buried in snow, reports CNN.
The new quake sent down new avalanches of snow and rock.
On Saturday, hundreds of people were on Mount Everest when the long, powerful earthquake struck Nepal.
Among the most vulnerable were those at the base camp on the Nepalese side of the world’s highest mountain.
The camp sits in a bowl surrounded by high Himalayan peaks.
“An earthquake that long set off avalanches all the way around us. And they came down — they were large, they were massive avalanches,” said Jon Reiter, an American mountaineer at the base camp.
The falling ice and snow took out large sections of the camp, where climbers gather to prepare to ascend Everest.
A huge cloud of snow dust engulfed the hundreds of tents as some people ran for their lives.
“We all ducked for cover until the cloud passed and then started dealing with the aftermath,” Reiter said.
That included at least 17 people killed, dozens injured and many others missing, he said.
They are part of the enormous human toll in Nepal and beyond from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Saturday.
The many unhurt people at the camp scrambled to help the injured, digging them out of the snow and turning dining tents into makeshift field hospitals.
Snow that continued to fall made it hard for them to see, hampering their efforts.
Climbers worked in shifts through the night, nursing the injured as they waited for the weather conditions to improve, allowing helicopters in.
“A lot of them are in pretty tough shape,” said Reiter.
The airlifts of those with the most severe injuries began Sunday morning after the weather cleared.
“The sun is breaking through the clouds, and the choppers are coming in,” Reiter said.
“We’re pretty grateful. We’re going to get these guys down the hill.”
Among the dead was Dan Fredinburg, an American executive at Google who had been posting updates about his adventures in Nepal on Instagram and Twitter.
His sister, Megan, updated the Instagram account with a message, saying he suffered a major head injury.
“We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us,” she wrote.
“All our love and thanks to those who shared this life with our favorite hilarious strong willed man. He was and is everything to us.”
Eve Girawong, a medic from New Jersey who worked on the mountain, was also killed, according to her family and employer.
“On behalf of my family, it is with deep sadness that I write that our beloved daughter, younger sister and best friend has been taken from us today,” a family member wrote on Facebook.
“Nong Eve Girawong was doing the thing she loved doing most — helping others. Words cannot describe the heartbreak and pain that we are currently suffering.”
People at the base camp described a grim, chaotic situation after the avalanches.
“It’s a pretty rough scene up here,” Reiter said.