South East Wales

Nepal earthquake: Climber 'lucky' to be alive

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Media captionMike Hopkins, 56, from Cardiff, was attempting to be the oldest Welsh person to reach the summit

A climber from Cardiff who survived the Nepal earthquake while 23,000ft up Mount Everest has said he is lucky to be alive.

Mike Hopkins, 56, who returned home safely on Saturday, had reached Camp 1 when the 7.8 magnitude tremor struck.

It sparked a devastating avalanche on a section of the mountain he had been due to climb.

"A day in a different place and it could have been us, sometimes that's how luck goes" he said.

Mr Hopkins was with with a group of nine other climbers and Sherpas on the north side of Everest.

Describing the moment the earthquake hit, he said: "We were all sitting in the tent and all of a sudden the whole thing was moving.

"It was a weird sensation, I have never come across anything like it in my life.

"We were told to evacuate and as we were evacuating we were coming down the mountain getting aftershocks.

"Big rocks were coming down either side of us. We had to keep moving really, really quick."

The death toll has risen to over 7,000 since the earthquake and the Nepalese authorities have ruled out finding more survivors.

Image copyright Sarah Hopkins
Image caption Mike Hopkins was aiming to be the oldest Welsh person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest
Image caption Everest Base Camp before the earthquake struck
Image caption The scene at Base Camp before the earthquake
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The devastation at Base Camp after the avalanches

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