Nepal quake: Malaysian Everest team safe

Nepal quake: Malaysian Everest team safe

PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian mountain-climbing team in Nepal is safe after a 7.8 magnitude quake on Saturday triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing 18 to date.

Azim Afif, who is leading the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia team on an Everest mission, made public posts to keep his Facebook page followers informed of their situation.

In an update made 23 hours ago, the 27-year-old said the Everest Base Camp (EBC) was just rocked by the powerful earthquake, causing a snowstorm and avalanche "possibly from Pumori".

"Still foggy and white. Alhamdulillah the UTM team is safe and also the Ever Quest Sherpas," he added.

Despite reports of icefall slamming into the mountaineering base camp, Azim said the team at the EBC was safe, though battery levels of smart devices were low and fast-draining.

In an April 20 post, he shared how they planned to start their climb to Camp 1 from the EBC at 2am Nepal time (4.15am local time) on Tuesday, with prayers for strength, blessings, safety, health and success.

This was part of the altitude adjustment programme, with the team returning to the EBC on the evening of the same day.

On the day before, the team underwent ladder and traverse practice at Glacier, below Icefall.

On April 18 last year, an avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides at Icefall, making it the deadliest record ever at the time.

A shared schedule of the UTM team's first rotation revealed that the team was slated to be at Camp 2 on the day of the incident.

The team comprised of five Malaysians, three Singaporeans, one Belgian, several Sherpa climbers, and founder of travel adventure company Ever Quest Expeditions, Jamling Bhote.

"Pray for us," said Azim to his friends.

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