GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – An American military plane carrying a disaster relief team and 45 tons of supplies is headed to Nepal. It’s part of the international response to Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
Countless buildings lie in ruins and more than 2,500 people are dead. That number is expected to rise.
The earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche in the Himalayas where 18 people were crushed at the Mount Everest base camp. A handful of climbers from Colorado are still on the mountain.
A strong aftershock Sunday near Mount Everest had meters spiking at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden.
“My heart just sank when I heard that news,” said mountaineer Eric Larsen.
Not only because of the devastation the earthquake has caused throughout mountain country in Nepal, but also because Larsen’s good friend and expedition partner was at ground zero when it hit.
“He actually called me yesterday to let me know that he was okay, and his team was okay as well,” Larsen said.
Ryan Waters from Boulder had been guiding clients on a climb up Mount Everest when the earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche.
Another hiker posted pictures showing some of the damage at Everest base camp.
“It’s like a bulldozer coming into that camp. And so rocks and ice chunks travelling at almost terminal velocity that have just leveled many of the tents,” Larsen said.
At least 18 people are reported dead and dozens more injured.
Larsen’s biggest hope now is that Waters and the others caught in the quake can make a safe return back down the trail.
“Anything that has gotten knocked loose throughout the earthquake and the resulting tremors is a potential hazard. So they will have to be careful as they come back down,” Larsen said.