Story here. That link says 7.8 magnitude, but I’ve heard it’s been upgraded to 7.9. More than 800 dead now, but the Kathmandu Valley is densely populated and buildings are old, so the death toll will certainly leap. The epicenter was 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Katmandu, about halfway between the capital and the town of Pokhara. This is the biggest earthquake to hit this area in 81 years. The 1934 quake killed 10,000 and all but destroyed the city.
This is very sad. I love Nepal, and I love the Kathmandu Valley. The valley is a Unesco World Heritage site.
I’ve heard communication is really spotty. I’ve reached to her to see if she’s heard anything but she hasn’t gotten back to me. Coincidentally, my sister has a grad student from Nepal too. She was able to get through and her family is ok.
It’s caused a massive avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall that’s flattened much of Everest base camp. At least 10 dead on the mountain, probably more. It being the end of April and getting right into the prime season for a summit push, there would have been a lot of climbers there acclimatizing.
Heard from my student. Her family is ok, but the after shocks are forcing them to sleep in outside camps. She’s heartbroken over seeing how much of her hometown is destroyed. Places from her childhood she would go to play and worship at are just gone.
I can’t tell you how sad this makes me. Kathmandu is hands down my favorite city in the world.
When I was there, I picked up this eccentric little self-published book of walking tours by an author who really knew his stuff. Every corner, every alley, every block of Kathmandu is just brimming with history. Like, the book instructed me to peek into a little niche in a staircase by a dusty computer repair store. In that niche is a little Buddha statue…that is 2,000 years old. There is stuff like that on every street, it’s just breathtaking.
The loss of life is atrocious. The number of gorgeous, fabled, irreplaceable buildings that have been lost makes me want to cry. I’m hearing that the Patan Durbar Square-- one of the most stunning temple complexes on earth-- is completely razed. This is all just such an enormous loss.
My wife’s stepdad and his two brothers were on a trek to reach basecamp. They were scheduled to make the basecamp late today. They didn’t check-in at the scheduled time this morning and everyone is nervous.
As luck would have it, at my kids soccer game this morning a lady, who was Indian, overheard my wife calming down her sister on the phone and gave her some contact info for a website that is being used to keep in touch.
Her halfsister is very upset. She lives in Florida with my wife’s mom and stepdad, while we are in Missouri with the rest of the family. So everything is by phone. It is killing my wife not to be there with her.
I was there last November, and thinking back onhow the city of Kathmandu is built gives me the shivers. I’m on a crummy connection in the Phillipines now so I haven’t really checked any images or videos coming from there, but I can only imagine everything flattened into a pile of adobe bricks and dust.
I got a message from the guide that took us around Anapurna that he is OK, but I’m very saddened to hear about Durbar Square, it was my favorite place.