Sacramento Bride and Groom contributor Charleton Churchill, currently in Nepal where he and his team are involved in a very adventurous trek up Mt. Everest to photograph the wedding of his clients Eric and Jen, finds himself in the midst of an unfolding disaster for the inhabitants of that distant land. Nepal, located in the Himalayas between India and China, has experienced a 7.9 earthquake, killing thousands and causing extensive damage. A multi-national rescue effort is underway.
From Charleton’s facebook page, written on April 25:
We had a major 7.9 earthquake here in the Himalayas, we definitely felt it, not just the shaking of this entire village but the rumbling sound that followed, people screaming, jumping out of windows, sirens going off, some of the building I’m staying in started to collapse 2 doors down, some of the buildings are not safe anymore, people running for open area, rocks tumbled down. Out of all the earthquakes they have here, we happen to randomly experience their biggest since 1934. We have heard news in Kathmandu of the crisis there, so we will not be leaving anytime soon. We are all okay, have food and water, we are packed and ready with passports in case there is an emergency. We are feeling aftershocks which is a bit unsettling, but they are minor compared to the original shake. Mountain madness and their porters and staff have shown great leadership and the group is in good hands. Tomorrow we may plan to hike the trail up to 12,600 feet to a safer flat area and decide then what we will do as a team. Continue to pray for safety.
Update: 6 of our 27 yaks died, and some of our porters who are cooking and serving us have lost their homes lower on the mountain. The porters were welcome to leave, but want to stay and serve. They need the money. I’m hoping we can set up something to help these people. Stay tuned.
Update 2: We are staying here at Namche Bazaar tomorrow, decided not to head up to the next camp as the safest plan of action. Half the group is still in shock, very emotional for many. Safety is our main concern at this time. Staying strong here.
Charleton is a well liked and respected member of the Sacramento area wedding professional community and we are all eager to see him and his crew return home safely. His wife Kelly has spoken to him by phone since the quake and reports that “he was in good spirits.” He and his team are preparing to return to Kathmandu in order to depart Nepal.
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