Hiker tells of quake terror in Nepal
AHIKER who was walking in the Himalayas when the earthquake hit Nepal is now stranded at the centre of the heartbreaking devastation.
Joanne Hinds, 30, from Swinton, Salford, had recently left Everest base camp when the 7.8 magnitude quake struck and caused a huge avalanche, killing 17 people and injuring 61 others staying there.
Further up the mountain, about 100 climbers were safe but stranded as the route down was damaged. Rescue efforts are ongoing.
Joanne and a friend, who had fulfilled a lifelong dream of setting foot on Everest, were just hours from base camp and trekking through remote countryside when the quake struck.
The ground shook and cracked beneath them, terrifying the pair and sur- rounding villagers.
Jack Hinds, Joanne’s brother, told our sister paper the M.E.N.: “Joanne had literally left base camp two days ago and then it got hit – she was very lucky. Lots of people were killed. We are so relieved she is okay but it’s still so, so sad.
“It was tense and it was good to get the call from Joanne’s friend’s mum saying they had been in touch and they were fine. Then Joanne called but the line was awful.
“She just said she was in a safe place and that she wasn’t hurt. She was in shock because they had felt the earthquake badly, the ground was cracking.
“It is so, so sad. The pic- tures coming out are devastating. Joanne has seen some sights, crumbled buildings and the human toll in the villages. She is very upset.”
More than 2,000 people are now reported to have died and a powerful aftershock was felt yesterday. In Kathmandu, it wrecked houses, flattened world heritage sites and displaced thousands of families.
Joanne told our sister paper, the M.E.N. she was not yet ready to talk about the disaster.
But her brother Jack managed to speak to her and they have had contact over social media.
Joanne, a keen traveller who now lives in Bristol and works as a researcher at the University of Bath, is booked to fly out via Dubai on Tuesday.
With travel now almost impossible, Joanne and a friend were planning to trek to the airport in the hope they could still catch their flight.
The Foreign Office has advised British nationals in the area to stay ‘in a place of safety’.
●●Joanne Hinds, from Swinton, at the top of Mount Kilamanjaro – and, right, with her brother Jack