At least 17 climbers and Sherpas were killed by the falling snow while another 37 were injured, Nepalese officials tell the Times. Another 800 or so climbers are reportedly trapped in the base camp awaiting rescue.
While avalanches are common in the Everest base camp area—a similar wall of snow killed 16 climbers last year—the severity of the earthquake aftershocks are hampering rescue efforts, the Washington Post reports. Via the Post:
The wind that accompanied the avalanche “completely pulverized and blew the camp away,” American climber Jon Kedrowski, who was at the base camp, wrote on his blog Sunday. “Many of the injuries were similar to ones you might see in the Midwest when a tornado hits, with contusions and lacerations from flying debris. Head injuries, broken legs, internal injuries, impalements also happened to people. Some people were picked up and tossed across the glacier for a hundred yards.”
He continued: “People in tents were wrapped up in them, lifted by the force of the blast and then slammed down onto rocks, glacial moraine and ice on the glacier.”
Update 11:19 p.m.