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with Stefan Nestler

Nepal devastated by earthquake, avalanche on Everest

South side of Mount Everest

South side of Mount Everest

The number of victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal is increasing every hour – now over 1100. In the capital Kathmandu, but also in the nearby towns of Patan and Bhaktapur, many houses and buildings collapsed, including centuries-old temples. The tremors reached a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, the center of the quake was 80 kilometers north-west of Kathmandu. At least ten climbers were killed at the foot of Mount Everest after the quake had triggered a massive avalanche on Pumori. The seven-thousander is located vis-a-vis the highest mountain in the world. The situation is dramatic.

Icefall route distroyed

“Huge disaster”, Romanian climber Alex Gavan tweeted. “Helped searched and rescued victims through huge debris area. Many dead. Much more badly injured. More to die if not heli asap.” The medical team of Everest ER has its hands full: “Many of our friends in base camp have been seriously injured and killed and we are taking just a few moments away from our work with the suffering to let our personal friends and families know that the Everest ER team are all safe. With the help of nearly every able bodied friend in base camp, we moved our clinic to the IMG camp where we are caring for patients. We have very limited communications at the moment.” In Camp 1 and 2 above 6000 meters numerous climbers are cut off from descent. The route through the Khumbu Icefall was destroyed, US expedition leader Dan Mazur tweeted.

Climbers in Tibet are well

Apparently there were no consequences of the earthquake on the Tibetan north side of Everest. “The quake was clearly felt in the base camp. It triggered some small landslides and debris flows”, German mountaineer Luis Stitzinger wrote. “Nobody was harmed. We are all doing well at the base camp.” German expedition leader Thomas Laemmle also gave an all-clear from Cho Oyu in Tibet: “We were on the way to Camp 1 in the middle of the valley when we got shaked by the earthquake. Avalanches were triggered but nobody got hurt. ABC was not affected by avalanches. On the Cho Oyu side, all expeditions are safe.“ – Here is a report of the Indian climber Arjun Vajpai from base camp on Makalu:

Every 70 to 80 years

The earthquake in Nepal was the strongest since 15 January 1934, when about 8,500 people lost their lives in the Kathmandu valley. At that time, however, the city had only about 300,000 residents; most of them lived in low mud-brick huts then. Today the capital is home to about three million people. Most of them live in concrete houses that are distant from western building standards. Kathmandu, located about 250 kilometers southwest of Mount Everest, is situated almost exactly between the Indian continental shelve and the Eurasian one. Statistically Nepal has been struck by strong earthquakes every 70 to 80 years.


25. April 2015 | 18:23