Two Nelson photographers survive Nepal earthquake

David Gluns and Douglas Noblet survived Nepal's 7.8 earthquake on April 25.

by  Tamara Hynd

Nelson Star

Nelson residents David Gluns and Douglas Noblet survived the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25.

Noblet was in the village of Jhinu Danda when the quake struck and he reports that he is doing fine.

Noblet is an avid skier, mountaineer, pilot and owner of Wild Air Photography. He travelled to Nepal earlier this month and was in the midst of hiking the Annapurna trek when the devastating earthquake shook the country.

He wrote to the Star via Facebook that there was “not too much damage in the village, however, some buildings did partially collapse … The shaking from the first and big one was pretty violent and lasted at least a minute.”

Noblet then spent the night in Chhomrong, which is further away from the epicentre of the quake, along the Annapurna base camp trek. He stopped at a local police checkpoint to register that he was okay.

“There was another mild shake around 5 this morning,” he wrote on Saturday. “Otherwise things are pretty calm up here.”

He is also a member of Nelson Search and Rescue. “There hasn’t been much I can help with up here though,” he wrote.

He was waiting for news from the Annapurna base camp.  “[I] haven’t heard much yet in about 20 hours,” he wrote.

After two days without Internet service, Noblet wrote that more tremors occurred on Monday for seven to eight seconds and another on Tuesday morning where more buildings were crumbling at Jomsom, another point on the trail, but no injuries were reported.

Meanwhile, photographer David Gluns was in Kathmandu working in an office on the third floor of an old building when the temblor struck.

“Yes, survived the quake,” he wrote the Star in an email. “The shaking was violent.

“[The] hotel near ours collapsed, killing many. Our hotel was slightly damaged with bits of concrete all over my room.”

“[Kathmandu] is a mess,” wrote Gluns, adding that many historic buildings have been destroyed. “The loss of life is even more devastating in what started out as just another day for most.”

Gluns had been working in Nepal leading a trekking group. “The group I was leading had left the day before the quake. I stayed behind to set up the fall trips.”

Gluns managed to fly out Saturday. “It was chaos,” he wrote.

An eight-hour flight delay had him stuck in Istanbul waiting for a new flight to Munich. Gluns is flying to Spain to walk a cross-country pilgrimage route.

The quake is the country’s worst in 80 years and has claimed more than 7,000 lives and injured more than 9,000 people.