Exactly a year later tragedy struck again to the Everest region and at the very crucial time of the Everest climbing season. And this could be probably the worst tragedy to hit Everest region.
After the quake today noon an avalanche swept the face of Mt. Everest after the massive earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday. An Indian army mountaineering team found 18 bodies on Mount Everest on Saturday, an army spokesman said, after a huge earthquake in Nepal unleashed an avalanche on the mountain at the start of the main climbing season. Nepal’s Tourism Ministry could only confirm 10 deaths, but spokesman Gyanendra Shrestha said that the death toll could rise, and that the avalanche had buried part of the base camp. He said two tents at the camp had been filled with the injured. Ministry officials estimated that at least 1,000 climbers, including about 400 foreigners, had been at base camp or on Everest when the earthquake struck. The avalanche apparently struck between the Khumbu Icefall, a rugged area of collapsed ice and snow, and the base camp where most climbing expeditions are, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Exactly an year back on 18th April 2014 an avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest killing at least 16 Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak till that time. The Sherpa guides had gone to fix ropes for other climbers when the avalanche hit just them below Camp 2 at about 6:30 a.m. That incident and the strike from the sherpas after that had almost but ruined the Everest climbing season. Its going to be same again this year as most parts of the capital city of Kathmandu under rubbles. Kathmandu is the entry and exit point to Nepal for climbers from world over.
The extent of todays’s tragedy is yet to unfold as still there is very less communication coming out. Climbers have taken to social media to report the situation. Romanian climber Alex Gavan said on Twitter that there had been a “huge avalanche” and “many, many” people were up on the mountain. “Running for lifefrom my tent,” Gavan said. “Everest base camp huge earthquake then huge avalanche.”
Alex’s first tweet was at 12.01 pm (20 minutes after the quake)-
His second tweet was at 6.38 pm in the evening-
It simply tells the gravity of the situation.
Another climber, Daniel Mazur, said Everest base camp had been “severely damaged” and his team was trapped. His first tweet was at 1.46 pm.
He made another tweet at 2.54 pm-
His last tweet so far was at 5.22 pm
The trekkers are scattered all around the base camp and some had even trekked further up. It is almost impossible to get in touch with anyone. Choti Sherpa, who works at the Everest Summiteers Association, said she had been unable to call her family and colleagues on the mountain. “Everyone is trying to contact each other, but we can’t,” she said. “We are all very worried.” “This will definitely have some impact on climbing activity, but this is a natural disaster no one can do anything,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
April is one of the most popular times to scale the 8,850-metre (29,035 foot) peak, the world’s highest, before rain and clouds cloak it the end of May. Hundreds of climbers, their guides and support crews gather at the base camp to prepare for attempts to scale the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain as early as March end or April beginning for attempting climbs later when weather conditions become favourable. They have been setting up camps at higher altitudes and guides have been fixing routes and ropes on the slopes above. Last year the area where the avalanche hit is nicknamed the “popcorn field” and is just below Camp 2 at 6,400 meters (21,000 feet).
More than 4,000 climbers have scaled the summit since 1953, when it was first conquered by NewZealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Hundreds have died attempting to reach the peak. The earlier worst recorded disaster on Everest had been a snowstorm on May 11, 1996, that caused the deaths of eight climbers. Six Nepalese guides were killed in an avalanche in 1970.