60 people healed ,,,30 souls,,,hundreds of tracts and Bibles given away
Life here was never easy, but it was at least happy. And when foreign trekkers began to arrive in the 1970s, this brought more opportunities. No longer totally reliant on subsistence agriculture, villagers were able to open small trekking lodges, invest in better housing, pay for warm clothing and various luxuries, and even send their children to boarding schools in Kathmandu. Babies born in Langtang suddenly had the world at their feet in a way that hadn’t been possible before.
By the turn of the century, Langtang National Park had become the third most popular trekking destination in Nepal. Every year, tens of thousands of trekkers made the journey up the valley, mostly during the twin high seasons of April and October. But on the morning of April 25, 2015, that happy status quo rapidly came to an end.
At 11:56 a.m. that day, Nepal began to shake violently from the force of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake. In Kathmandu, concrete apartments collapsed, pedestrians and motorcyclists were thrown to the ground, and thick dust choked the streets. In nearby Bhaktapur, a UNESCO World Heritage site, ancient monuments crumbled and spilled onto cobbled squares. Farther north, in the hilly region of Helambu, centuries-old stone houses turned to rubble as farmers looked on in dismay. And at the same time, farther north still, relatively hidden from the shocked eyes of the world, Langtang Valley was experiencing something even worse.
“I was cooking lunch for a group of 20 trekkers,” says Sherap Tamang, who owns a guest house in Kyanjin Gompa, two hours up the valley from Langtang village. “They all started shouting and running, but I didn’t know what the problem was. Then I realized everything was shaking.”
Sherap Tamang in Kyanjin Gompa, near Langtang village.
Sherap escaped from his guest house and joined dozens of locals and trekkers gathered in a courtyard outside. One man was bleeding from his head, and some buildings were beginning to cave in, but the situation otherwise seemed to be under control. At that moment, however, a new sound—quite distinct from the rumbling of the earth—began to make itself heard above the din. Sherap looked down the valley, and saw a huge, billowing cloud rushing towards him.
Avalanche! He and the others had just enough time to take cover before “the wind” was upon them, ripping roofs from houses and pelting everything with snow and ice. The force was so powerful that it ripped a baby from a mother’s arms and carried them several yards from where she was standing. The baby was later found, half-buried in snow and with two broken legs—but miraculously alive