Footage emerges of Everest base camp avalanche

Dramatic footage shows wall of snow hitting base camp, as toll from Nepal’s worst earthquake in decades hits 3,700.

A wall of snow is seen flattening part of Mount Everest’s base camp during an avalanche triggered by Nepal’s worst earthquake in decades.

Dramatic footage showing the avalanche was posted on YouTube, a day after the magnitude 7.8 quake hit Nepal, killing more than 3,700 people across the country.

At least 6,000 people have been injured and potentially millions displaced in the worst natural disaster to hit the Himalayan nation in more than 80 years.

The footage, posted by German climber Jost Kobusch, shows a group of climbers at the camp. They appeared relaxed as the ground started shaking, but the mood swiftly turned to panic as they realised a wall of snow, rock and ice was headed straight towards them.

After the avalanche hit, the dazed and confused climbers emerged and began to look for other survivors in flattened tents amid chaos.

Thousands of people, too frightened to venture indoors, are sleeping in the streets of Kathmandu [AP]
Thousands of people, too frightened to venture indoors, are sleeping in the streets of Kathmandu [AP]

At least 17 people are known to have died at the camp so far in the deadliest avalanche in Mount Everest’s history. Some 1,000 climbers are believed to have been on the mountain when the avalanche hit.

While helicopters had been deployed to collect some of the most seriously injured, the rescue operations had been hampered as aftershocks from the earthquake triggered more avalanches.

Anger over relief response

Meanwhile, thousands of displaced residents in the Nepali capital have expressed anger towards the government over its response to the disaster, as they camped out in the open, many without food and water.

As rescuers continued to dig through the rubble, the densely-populated capital faced a “chaotic situation”.

“People are very angry with the government for being left in the lurch,” said Al Jazeera’s Subina Shrestha, who is in Kathmandu.

Al Jazeera’s Faiz Jamil said that their situation was worsened by an influx of “disaster tourists”, who had travelled to Kathmandu from other areas to view the damage.


Another Al Jazeera correspondent Andrew Simmons, reporting from Kathmandu, said “there’s a great worry about how people are going to get by”, with much of infrastructure destroyed and no electricity.

He also said that the frequent aftershocks, including one at magnitude 6.7 on Sunday morning, have rattled the already jittery survivors.

At overstretched hospitals, where medics were also treating patients in hastily erected tents, staff were forced to flee from buildings for fear of further collapses.

At least 1,152 people were reported killed in the capital, but the toll was expected to rise as the extent of the destruction became clear.

Nepal: A day after the disaster

Al Jazeera’s Simmons said that congestion at the Kathmandu airport had slowed down the deployment of rescuers and medical staff to other parts of the country.

The Red Cross said it was concerned about the fate of rural villages close to the epicentre of the quake northwest of Kathmandu amid reports that many had been completely destroyed.

International aid groups and governments have sent emergency crews to reinforce those trying to find survivors in Kathmandu, and in rural areas cut off by blocked roads and patchy phone networks.

On Sunday, planeloads of supplies, firstly from India and Pakistan, had started to arrive in the capital, along with doctors and relief workers.

 What caused the Nepal earthquake?

The number of casualties is expected to climb as reports come in from far-flung areas, Laxmi Dhakal, a home ministry official, said.

At least 50 people were also killed in India, mostly in its eastern Bihar state.

Al Jazeera’s Maher Sattar, reporting from Dhaka, said at least three people were killed in Bangladesh.

The disaster is likely to put a huge strain on the resources of this poor country best known for Everest, the highest mountain in the world. The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people, relies heavily on tourism.

The world reacted quickly to the disaster, offering money, relief materials, equipment, expertise and rescue teams.

 The powerful quake also triggered an avalanche that swept across Everest Base Camp [ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP]
The powerful quake also triggered an avalanche that swept across Everest Base Camp [ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP]
Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies