More reports are coming in of Coloradans feeling either the punch of Saturday's massive earthquake in Nepal, or the fury of a subsequent avalanche at Mt. Everest basecamp.
- Latest: More than 4,000 Dead In Nepal As Earthquake Toll Rises
- Earlier: A Colorado victim, and survivors, after quake and avalanche
The quake is now blamed for at least 4,000 deaths. Reconstruction is estimated to cost billions. International aid efforts are underway, but aftershocks are rattling survivors' nerves and making the recovery even more challenging. And the United States has pledged a helping hand.
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) April 27, 2015
A group of Colorado volunteers in Nepal with a Colorado dental relief organization, was traveling by van through the city when the massive quake struck.
“The first thing they noticed was that all the motorcycles fell over in the street,” said Laurie Mathews, director of Denver-based Global Dental Relief. Mathews is in Denver and has been communicating with her team of 16, five of them from Colorado. "They saw one (motorcycle) and then another and then they realized all the buildings were swaying. Where they were there wasn’t a lot of damage, but it was clear, it (the shaking) went on and on and on.”
The group had just arrived in Kathmandu on Friday. They went to Patan Durbar Square, a historic UNESCO World Heritage site and were driving through the streets when the temblor hit. The square is now in rubble.
The dental relief team was planning to work with children at a boarding school in Kathmandu. The kids typically come from villages that are a week away by foot. Mathews said their parents carry them in to Kathmandu so they can get an education.
The children are very worried about their parents, many of whom they hadn’t been able to yet contact. One child comes from a town where of 30 buildings, just one was still standing, Mathews said.
“Our hearts just go out to those kids. I mean there’s a lot of tragedy in this," he said.
Mathews said because the school has structural damage and the power is the dental clinic has been canceled and her team plans to leave Nepal in the next few days. She said the school buildings are intact and “they were able to get all of the kids outside, and they are all camped in the courtyard.”
According to the Nepal Earth Quake: Restoring Family Links website, Fort Collins-born Rachel Hadfield, 28, remains among the missing.
One Colorado College student studying abroad was among those affected by the quake. College News Director Leslie Weddell says that the student is among a group that's safe and being evacuated back to the United States. In an email, she said that the group was unexpectedly able to get a helicopter to a small town in Southern Nepal.
The University of Denver, University of Colorado Denver and Colorado Springs have confirmed they had no students in Nepal. CU Boulder has not confirmed if any of its students are there.
Earlier we learned that Denver-born Tom Taplin, a filmmaker, camp doctor and Google engineer, died in the avalanche. Coloradan Matt Moniz, 17, and his climbing team, which includes Charly Mace from Golden, were not injured.
"An incredible force," Coloradan Matt Moniz tells us. "There were tents and sleeping bags flying through the air." http://t.co/U86WjyT4xn
— CPR News (@NewsCPR) April 27, 2015
Two climbers from Fort Collins also survived. Jim Davidson was part of a group that had already moved up to a higher camp on the mountain, and was not in the way of the avalanche. Alan Arnette was part of group headed for nearby Lhotse peak.
— Stephen Meyers (@stemeyer) April 27, 2015
A Nepalese band took the stage for a planned concert in Boulder despite hearing the news that thousands of their countrymen had been killed by a natural disaster.
KCNC-TV in Denver reports that the rock band played at the Glenn Miller auditorium on Sunday night and took the opportunity to raise money for their homeland following a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the country Saturday. Band members told KCNC-TV that they arrived in the U.S. days before the earthquake and are eager to get home.