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Mount Everest moved three centimetres after Nepal earthquake

Posted in: 19th May, 2015 Post Category: Blog of Nepal

During the afternoon of 25 April 2015, a MW 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal and surrounding nations. Shaking from the quake triggered an avalanche from Pumori into the basecamp on Mount Everest. At least twenty-two people were killed, surpassing an avalanche that occurred the previous year as the deadliest disaster on the mountain.

Mount Everest was approximately 220 kilometres (140 mi) east of the epicentre, and between 700 and 1,000 people were on or near the mountain when the earthquake struck, including 359 climbers at Base Camp, many of whom had returned after the aborted 2014 season. The earthquake triggered several large avalanches on and around the mountain. One avalanche, originating on the nearby peak of Pumori, swept into South Base Camp and then through part of the Khumbu Icefall.An Indian Army mountaineering team recovered the bodies of 19 mountaineers from the South Base Camp and rescued at least 61 stranded climbers from the mountain. At least 61 people were injured, with dozens initially reported missing, and many more stranded at camps at higher elevations, having lost secure descent routes.

Helicopters reached Mount Everest on the morning of 26 April to commence rescue operations, managing to transport 22 of the badly injured to Pheriche village, before the operation was halted by bad weather. Pheriche is an important stopover for climbers, and has a rudimentary hospital usually staffed by locals and foreign volunteers.

Later that day, a helicopter reportedly evacuated several climbers from Camp I, the first camp above Base Camp, with some 100 mountaineers still unable to safely descend from Camps I and II. Expedition leaders decided to try to evacuate climbers from Camp I by repairing the route through the Khumbu Icefall. On 26 April, a helicopter dropped additional technical gear at Camp I, and a team of Sherpas and foreign guides attempted to re-establish the route from the top back down to Base Camp. Simultaneously, another team dispatched from Base Camp tried to re-establish the route from the bottom up. But this attempt was unsuccessful as a subsequent avalanche took out most of the ladders and reportedly killed three Sherpas at Khumbu Icefall, pushing the death toll on the mountain to at least 24. Further climbers were rescued via helicopter on 27 April. Climbers at Base Camp posted on Twitter in the days after the disaster, writing of “great desolation” and “high uncertainty” among those who were left, and stating that the area looked as if it had been hit by a nuclear bomb; one mountaineer, commenting on Facebook, said that people stuck higher up on the mountain were “getting desperate”. On 27 April, 60 people were rescued from Camp I and 170 were rescued from Camp II. Seventeen bodies were found on 25 April, and one was found on 27 April. On 26 April, one of the 61 badly injured died at KMC hospital.

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