Three Americans died in a massive avalanche triggered by the devastating Nepal earthquake, the U.S. State Department said on Sunday, including a medic and a filmmaker who were at a base camp for Mount Everest climbers.
Nearly 2,500 people were confirmed killed in the 7.9 magnitude quake, making it the worst such disaster to hit Nepal since 1934 when 8,500 died. Thousands more were injured. At least 17 died in the avalanche.
The medic, Marisa Eve Girawong, was a physician’s assistant who worked for Madison Mountaineering, a Seattle-based guide service, according to Kurt Hunter, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer.
“She was quite beloved by our entire team,” Hunter said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “We’re deeply saddened by her loss.”
Girawong, who was from Edison, New Jersey, according to media reports, was among more than a dozen people who perished in the Mount Everest avalanche.
Tom Taplin, a 61-year-old filmmaker and photographer from Evergreen, Colorado, making a documentary about the Mount Everest base camp when the avalanche hit also died, his wife Cory Freyer said on Sunday in a telephone interview.
Taplin had been on the mountain for nearly two weeks, his wife said. He was there with two friends who are cameramen, but both had left before the avalanche.
“He was such a well-loved individual,” Freyer said of her husband. “Always up for adventure.”
Taplin had a “great passion for the mountains and extreme landscapes,” Freyer said.
The third American, Dan Fredinburg, was a veteran Google Inc executive, who served most recently as head of privacy at Google X, a research division at the Mountain View, California-based technology company. His death was announced on Saturday.
Fredinburg was climbing the world’s tallest peak with three other Google employees when the avalanche struck. None of his colleagues were injured, a company official said.
The State Department on Sunday did not confirm the identities of the three Americans.