BREAKING NEWS UPDATE EARTHQUAKE IN BASECAMP!
Massive Avalanche and “Compressed Air” Devastation to Basecamp Caused.
Sat April 25, 1157am.
I was sitting in the dining tent right about 12 noon when the vibration of the glacier below me began. It was very subtle at first. And the sounds from outside made you think it was just another minor avalanche coming from one of the big walls in the amphitheater surrounding basecamp.
Then the shaking didn’t stop. The roar of the surrounding mountain grew stronger and stronger. I grabbed my small laptop computer which I was writing on, got outside quickly and watched others emerge from their tents. It was snowing lightly and the roar from the earthquake, the shaking of the ground, the movement of the glacier was intense. The shaking lasted for almost a minute. I have been in a small earthquake before but this was huge. I would estimate 7-8 magnitude on the Richter scale. Then the scary part is immediately after the earthquake stopped….the roar from a huge avalanche…..a few moments passed, we could hear but couldn’t see in the fog and the snow storm. I was just up on Pumori Yesterday……as we looked towards Pumori to the southwest, a HUGE snow avalanche cloud began to consume basecamp on that end. Snow dust engulfed the tents below us of Madison Mountaineering, Him Mex,, Jagged Globe, the SPCC, Henry Todd, and many others those lower camps really got dusted. IN fog the hillside which was brown before is completely white. It is too stormy foggy to see the Mountain of Pumori above, but the avalanche path is very near where I hiked yesterday and thank GOD I am not up there today. Anxious to see what the upper mountain looks like when the storm clears.
All communications are down, NCELL, WiFi and even satellite phones to Kathmandu. I was told sat Phone calls can be made to the US or other countries, we will see. This is a very Geologicaly active area (the Himalayas) as smaller earthquakes are common because these mountains are still growing taller by up to 1m per year in places. The forces of Nature make us as humans here in Basecamp feel so insignificant.
Now attention is turned to the icefall. There were probably 75-85 climbers in the icefall…this much vibration could mean avalanches, ice seracs collapsing, people falling if they were on ladders, etc. We have confirmation of one Sherpa buried in a small ice or snow of some sort, and one also killed when a ladder collapsed, the Sherpa fell in and was covered by snow during the earthquake, but as soon as 15 minutes after the earth quake, a line of climbers emerged on the bottom of the icefall, so some made it down ok. (I took a photo of it too).
Lets hope everyone is ok. More reports will be coming soon.
I’ve been in contact with meteorologist Chris Tomer for daily weather and now during this entire earthquake and it’s aftermath. He put together a great report….take a look:
Colorado climbers safe, expecting airlift after being stranded on Everest during quake
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