Four San Diegan hikers are trapped in a Nepalese village, living among those grappling to escape the country’s earthquake devastation as food supplies run low.
Just days ago, Kathleen “Kat” Heldman, her husband Kevin Krough and her friends Oscar Olea and Brigida Martinez thought they were setting off on the trip of a lifetime: a hiking adventure through Asia to celebrate Martinez's 40th birthday.
But as they reached Nepal’s Langtang region, so did the magnitude 7.8 earthquake.
Heldman’s sister, Sarah, said they experienced an agonizing few days after hearing about the earthquake. Finally, they were able to contact the hikers via satellite phone.
Sarah told NBC 7 there are no major injuries in the group.
“What that means, we don't know,” she said. “There might be broken bones and that's not considered major injuries. We just don't really know. The big worry is getting rescued soon and getting rescued before another aftershock hits.”
According to her family, ten of the most critically hurt have been airlifted out, but others are now stranded, struggling to help the injured.
Martinez, who works as an intensive care nurse, reportedly helped rescue a baby with two broken legs when the quake hit. Sarah said the San Diegans are basically managing a rescue camp where about 30 people are still living.
For those left behind, spirits are low. Another big concern is food, said Martinez’s friend Jill Salmon
At last report, the hikers have about a day’s worth of meals left.
“I'm worried at this point that she's running out of food and supplies and she's trying to help people,” said Salmon. “We just got word now that they are asking for help, at least for supplies to be air dropped there.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up in Kat Heldman’s name, and all money will go to relief efforts, her family said.
Saturday's earthquake in Nepal has left more than 4,000 dead and thousands more injured. The temblor shook up an avalanche on Mount Everest, which killed at least 17 people.