Everest expedition team recalls quake horror

BY Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, May 14: The Asom Everest Expedition 2015 Organizing Committee (AEEOC) interacted with the media today and shared their experience during the earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25.

The interaction programme was held at Guwahati Press Club today.

It is for the first time that a group of Assamese climbers went for the expedition in the highest peak of the world during the months of April and May. But unfortutely, due to the earthquake, the team had to abandon their expedition half-way and return from the base camp.

The leader of the expedition team Mash Baruah and other members including jourlist Pronoy Bordoloi shared their experiences at the base camp during the earthquake.

“The State government sanctioned a grant of Rs 2 crore and Ministry of Sports and Youth Welfare sanctioned of Rs 25 lakh for the expedition. But as the team had to spend the money on permit and other necessities, they could not recover the money,” Baruah said.

A total of 11 members, including two base camp magers, were part of the expedition team.

For each member, they had to spent Rs 20 lakh. Each permit costs Rs 6.5 lakh.

The team had hired an agency for logistic support. The agency was paid some money is advance. We could not recover that money,” he said.

On their experiences, Pronoy Bordoloi said: “We were at Khumbu glacier. It was about quarter to twelve. Suddenly, all of us felt that the glacier beneath us was shaking violently. We knew it was a very strong earthquake and if the glacier breaks in it will be an unfathomably icy burial for all of us. Then the inevitable happened. Earthquake or vibration caused by any cause can trigger avalanche in a mountain. Our worst fears came true. We saw a huge chunk of ice, snow, stones and other debris coming down at lightning speed towards the base camp. Within eight to nine seconds, all our tent houses and other equipments were destroyed.”

“We saw the death of many Sherpas in front of our eyes during that earthquake. We are lucky that we are still alive. Even then we decided to stay there and continue our journey. But after the meeting held on May 3 with Sagarmatha Pollution Control Centre (SPCC), which is an NGO which has a team of veteran Sherpas under its banner, we decided to call off the expedition,” he added.

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