Nepal Earthquake Triggers Deadly Mount Everest Avalanche – NBCNews.com

Climbers on Mount Everest ran for their lives on Saturday when a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and set off at least one avalanche. At least eight people died and more than two dozen were injured in the avalanche on the world’s highest mountain, according to The Associated Press.

Jelle Veyt was just getting back to base camp when suddenly the earth “shook for a couple of seconds — badly,” the Belgian climber told NBC News.

A sherpa just a few feet ahead turned and pointed behind him, Veyt recalled, saying he then turned around himself and saw a “huge cloud of snow” heading his way.

“I started running for my life….trying to be in a tent before it hit me,” he said, telling NBC News he wasn’t thinking about “much” other than running “as fast as I could to the tents” which were only about 200 feet away.

Before he could reach the tents Veyt said he felt a “huge blow.”

“It felt like a wind in the back but more powerful,” he said. Then, he said, he was “just surrounded by snow then. I couldn’t see my own hands.”

While Veyt said he first tried hiding behind a rock, he “felt like I couldn’t breathe” so tried to make his way to the tent despite the “very low visibility.”

“I was afraid not to find the tent and die there,” Veyt told NBC News in a Facebook messenger interview.

He managed to find the tent and crawl inside, where others were trying to hold up the walls as the snow continued to hit.

Veyt said he and his team were all safe — but now the injured are streaming into the camp.

“I’m seeing people coming in who got hit by flying ice, fell because of running away even critical people with broken legs, bleeding,” he told NBC News. He said one man was carried in by eight men and that in total he’d seen between 10 and 20 injured himself.

“I assume there are much more.”

Below, other climbers and mountaineers describe the horrific events.

— Cassandra Vinograd



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